Injuries already effecting the '06 NFL Draft

Major news on a pair of potential first-round prospects for April's draft.

After suffering from tendinitis in his right leg, Northwestern's Loren Howard's 2005 season seemed up in the air.  But after having surgery to correct the situation, it was Howard himself who determined his fate for this year by announcing his transfer to Arizona State.

Only a couple of days into practice for the upcoming season, Wildcat coach Randy Walker was quoted as saying Howard, "was not the same player he was two years ago."  Opting for season-ending knee surgery late last week, Howard decided to rehabilitate his knee in the town he hails from, Phoenix, and told NU coaches of his pending transfer to Arizona State.

Northwestern hoped Howard would lead the defense this season after missing the first six games last year because of a severe ankle injury.  A devastating force as a sophomore, Howard posted 8 sacks and 16 tackles for loss in 2003.

This is Howard's third surgery in two years.  Prior to the knee operation of last week he had procedures completed on both ankles.

A potential first-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, there had been rumblings for weeks now in scouting circles about Howard's playing status and health for the upcoming season.

In other injury news, LSU running back Alley Broussard will also miss the 2005 season after suffering a knee injury in practice.  A big, bruising ball carrier, Broussard's role in the offense was to be expanded for the upcoming season. 

Only a junior, Broussard carried a first-round grade and would've competed to be the first back selected had he left for the NFL after a successful '05 campaign.

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