IOWA CITY, Iowa – The rumor mill often gets carried away when a key member of the Iowa football team suffers an injury in practice.
From Drew Tate supposedly breaking his leg in 2006 to C.J. Beathard supposedly breaking his ankle this week, the line between truth and fiction gets blurry.
Rumors persisted all this week about Beathard being injured. Each day his injury would seem to get worse, along with the paranoia. What started as a slight knee sprain, by Friday had turned into a broken ankle.
As it turns out, the rumor was only slightly accurate.
Beathard did suffer a slight knee sprain in practice this week after a player he declined to identity rolled up on his leg.
Beathard told reporters after the Kids Days practice on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium that he was worried in the moments after the injury had occurred that it could be serious.
“Yeah, I was at first when it happened,” said Beathard, who missed two days of practice while recovering from the injury. “It could have been a lot worse than it was. It didn’t look good. But I got with the doctors and it ended up being a sprain.
“It hurt to walk on it for a couple days. So I just sat out some practices and I’m feeling pretty good now.”
Beathard wore a brace on his knee during practice on Saturday as a precaution. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior from Franklin, Tenn., doesn’t like wearing the heavy brace because it limits his mobility and flexibility.
“That’s why I don’t like wearing it, just because it’s hard to bend,” said Beathard, who also had a close call this past spring with his shoulder after being hit in practice. “But you have to be precautionary. You don’t want to tear something in your knee. So you’ve just got to do what you’ve got to do.”
Beathard’s health is considered critical to Iowa’s success this season.
In addition to having a 13-2 record as a starter and making second-team all-Big Ten last season, Beathard is also the only quarterback on the roster with considerable game experience.
Sophomore backup Tyler Wiegers appeared briefly in four games last season, while redshirt freshman Drew Cook and incoming freshman Nathan Stanley have no game experience.
“The good news is it gives us a good look to look at the other guys behind him and see them working with the (starters),” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz. “And fortunately, there is nothing major there.
“So if there was a game today, he would have been playing full speed.”
Ferentz said he first heard about the rumor Friday morning. And by then, Beathard’s injury had reached the serious stage according to the rumor mill.
“I did catch wind of that yesterday morning when one of the guys in our office told me it was a broken ankle or something like that was kind of the buzz out there,” Ferentz said. “So be careful with these rumors right. A word to the wise on that one.”
Fans have reason to be paranoid about Beathard’s health after watching him battle through injuries last season. Beathard said he was healthy for just 2 ½ games last season, but he still managed to start all 14 games.
He had surgery in January to repair a sport hernia that nagged him for most of last season. Beathard said Saturday that he is fully recovered from that injury.
“It’s good,” Beathard said. “The best it’s ever felt right now. It hasn’t bothered me at all through camp.”