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USF Football Senior Linebacker Nico Sawtelle Dealing with Same Neck Injury From 2018, Out Indefinitely

A truly tough blow to the defense, especially to such a nice guy.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Some tough news to report tonight. The Daily Stampede has learned that the injury suffered by senior middle linebacker Nico Sawtelle last week in practice is the same injury that forced him to miss the final seven games of the 2018 season.

Head coach Charlie Strong told reporters on Monday that Sawtelle got banged up in practice and hasn’t dressed since. Sawtelle missed all of spring practice as he recovered from the neck injury. He participated in all of fall camp until the injury, and told reporters that he felt 100% ready.

The injury has been termed “chronic” by those with knowledge of the situation. It was thought that the preventative measures taken by Sawtelle and the medical staff helped mitigate the chances of re-injury.

Sawtelle finished the 2018 season with 42 tackles, 7.5 TFL, two sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery. Oklahoma State transfer Patrick Macon appears set to start in Sawtelle’s place on Friday night versus Wisconsin.

We wish Nico the best in his recovery, and hope the issue can be resolved.