Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith met with the media on Friday, and informed them he had no nerve damage in his knee following his Fiesta Bowl ACL/LCL tear. There have been reports he might be ready for the start of the 2016 season, but a couple of media sources are reporting otherwise.
Alex Marvez reported that two doctors had differing opinions on whether or not Smith might need a "redshirt" season in 2016. One doctor was optimistic about a full recovery, while another was pessimistic, thinking his chances of a full recovery were 10 percent. Philadelphia Daily News reporter Les Bowen is also reporting a medical source told him that Smith has nerve damage in his ankle, and will probably have to sit out the 2016 season.
Smith will be back in Indy in early April for a re-check on his knee. Players with medical issues can come back and get re-checked to see where they stand five or six weeks following the Combine. Smith's got a sizable amount of rehab ahead of him no matter what, but the re-check will give teams a better idea of where he stands.
The San Francisco 49ers were connected to Smith off and on prior to his knee injury. The ACL/LCL tears alone create plenty of questions, but any potential nerve damage adds significant concern to that as well. It does not mean this reports will prove true, but it is something we're stuck waiting to hear more on in the coming weeks. I don't think we see the 49ers draft Smith, but we know Baalke has shown an affinity for ACL all stars.