Former Florida Gators defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. was carted off the field Friday during the Jacksonville Jaguars first rookie minicamp after his left knee buckled during a drill. Tests later confirmed that Fowler tore his anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the 2015 season, according to ESPN.com‘s Adam Schefter.
The injury occurred as Fowler rushed the passer only for his left knee to bend awkwardly and buckle under his weight. He was carried off the field and into the locker room, where trainers prepared him to leave the facility and visit a doctor.
Jags new Leo pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr tweeks knee at rookie mini camp. Was walking with trainers and carted later. pic.twitter.com/nkl8aoqC6x
— Chad Weeks (@cweeks85) May 8, 2015
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Fowler tied the Gators’ record for being the highest-drafted player in program history. A 25-game starter at Florida over three seasons, he amassed 140 tackles (34 for loss), 14.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, all while proving to be a relentless and dominant defender.
He did not miss a single game for the Gators, playing in 37-of-37 contests from 2012-14 and starting all 24 games in his final two seasons.
Fowler was not signed with the Jaguars at the time of his injury. Schefter notes that, prior to the injury, Fowler “signed an injury protection waiver that obligates [the] Jaguars to negotiate [his contract] in good faith.”