ACL injuries have unfortunately become as much a part of big-time football as cleats or eye black. But ACL injuries for live animal mascots? Well, that’s a bit more unusual.
Tennessee’s beloved Bluetick Coonhound “Smokey” is being treated like an injured player since the dog suffered a partial tear of the ACL in his right back leg, according to govolsxtra.com. The web site reported the mascot was injured during Tennessee’s 45-23 victory over Cincinnati on September 10.
He was treated after multiple people noticed the normally energetic dog lag behind his trainers against the Bearcats. But as the web site put it, Smokey didn’t miss a down, making the trip to Florida for the Vols’ 33-23 loss on September 17.
Reads GoVolsExtra: “Since his ailment was diagnosed, Smokey has been injected with platelet-rich plasma, received electrical stimulation to his knee, and worked out on the veterinary clinic’s underwater treadmill.”
Yes, all that for a dog. Surgery is expected at some point.
In fact, the web site said that Smokey should be back to full form for Saturday’s game against Buffalo. The same can’t be said for wide receiver Justin Hunter, who tore his ACL against Florida and will miss the rest of the season.