It was announced early on Sunday that the 'setback' that Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz alluded to at Disneyland on Saturday was that the Hawkeyes would be without the services of tight end Jake Duzey. He re-injured his knee during a practice in Pasadena, making him unavailable for the Rose Bowl, thus ending his college football career.
Duzey was at Iowa Media Day earlier today at the L.A. Hotel and clarified the unfortunate severity of the injury.
"I did the same thing I did the first time," he said while standing up with two crutches for support. "I tore the patellar tendon in the same knee."
A lot of folks have wondered if a medical waiver is on the table for the senior tight end but it is not. He's played in too much action this year for that to be a remote possibility at all. He wanted to give it all he had this year to make it back on the field since it was last year. In hindsight, he probably would have approached his situation differently.
"I mean, if I was able to do it again, I would (approach it differently so that I could have another year of eligibility), Duzey admitted. "In the moment it happened I just wanted to get back on the field. It was my last year. I wanted to get back as soon as I could. 'Woulda, coulda, shoulda'."
"Every step of the way, we just kept seeing how I felt," he continued about how they operated this year around the injury. "I think we did the right thing. I tried to get on the field. It's something I probably shouldn't have been doing but I wanted to try. It just happened like it did."
The real bummer of it all is that Duzey was starting to build some momentum back in his recovery. The last few weeks of the season he had shown signs of turning the corner. His teammates and coaches were starting to become excited that he may be able to pose more of an impact. It carried on through bowl preparation.
"Yeah, (I was real close to feeling normal again)," he pointed out. "The last month of bowl prep, I finally felt like I was coming back how I used to be. I had the same kind of speed and stuff. It's not the greatest timing yet again but what can you do now."
He's definitely disappointed but he's not letting that diminish his time in Southern California.
"I'm trying to enjoy it," Duzey shared about being at the Rose Bowl. The guys are rallying around me and I'm having fun with them. Being at the Rose Bowl is a dream, always."