Wilson shoulder surgery keeps him from throwing in spring play

BYU Photo/Nate Edwards
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson throws a pass in his first career start against Hawaii on Oct. 13. (BYU Photo/Nate Edwards)

BYU quarterback Zach Wilson will not be participating in contact drills during spring camp because of surgery on his throwing shoulder in January.

Wilson said he suffered a minor shoulder injury in high school that had been bothering him for a couple of years. He had not done anything about the injury until now.

Even with the injury, Wilson’s stats prove an impressive 2018 season: 120 of 182 passes for a total of 1,578 yards, 12 touchdowns and three interceptions. His season also included throwing a perfect 18-for-18 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Western Michigan.

“(Wilson) knew about the injury, just played through it. Just dealt with it,” BYU quarterback coach Aaron Roderick told the Salt Lake Tribune. “He just got in the habit of playing with it. After the season, the decision was made with a bunch of people involved that he might as well fix it right now. The best thing for him in the long term (and) for his future. He should be just fine.”

Former San Diego Padres team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Heinz Hoencke Jr. performed the surgery in January, according to Cougar Sports Insider.

In an interview with ESPN, head coach Kalani Sitake said Wilson will be fine. According to Sitake, the coaches are going to limit Wilson’s play during spring ball to allow him to recover for the fall season.

“(Wilson is) going to be fine,” Sitake told ESPN. “He is such a tough kid. I just wanted (Wilson) to play comfortable, and I think he’s going to have that opportunity to play without any type of pain going into the fall.”

BYU football spokesman Brett Pyne told the Deseret News Wilson will participate in spring ball — be on the field, in meetings and part of the huddles before snaps — but will not be throwing the football.

Wilson, sporting a sling on his throwing arm, spoke with BYU Sports Nation on signing day about the future of his recovery. Wilson said he has been rehabbing every day and hopes to be throwing by summer.

Wilson said he will be training with former NFL and BYU quarterback John Beck in California to help him return to his normal gameplay.

Roderick gave a positive outlook on Wilson’s injury and said that he is not worried about Wilson getting back into the swing of things come Fall.

“It is going to cost him a little bit of work this spring, but it gives [other quarterbacks] a great chance to really improve as well,” Roderick told the Tribune. “I am not even worried about it.”

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