Torn ACL ends season for Evander Wells

Tennessee’s Evander Wells  finished fourth in the 200-meter finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field championships in Eugene, Ore.

Photo by Tony Scott/Special to the News Sentinel

Tennessee’s Evander Wells finished fourth in the 200-meter finals at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field championships in Eugene, Ore.

The Evander Wells football experiment is over before it really even started.

The former Tennessee track star who recently joined the Vols as a wide receiver had his transition to the gridiron cut short when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Sunday after just five practices.

Out of eligibility as a sprinter, Wells tried to extend his athletic career at UT by walking on to the football team and giving the Vols a speedy threat to use in the passing game or on special teams. His best shot at contributing this season likely was as a kickoff returner, and he had earned some early praise from the coaching staff for knocking off the rust that came from not playing the game since high school.

“He tore his ACL, and it’s too bad,” UT coach Derek Dooley said after practice on Monday. “He was only out here a few days.

“He was fast, we might have had some fly-sweeps and bubble screens he could run.”

That much was obvious during his productive track career with the Vols, which included a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA championships in June.

Later that month, he placed fourth in the 200 and seventh in the 100 at the USA Track and Field Championships.

Dooley indicated the ligament was damaged when Wells “just planted,” giving the Vols three major injuries during the first week of practice.

The loss of Wells won’t likely be noticed given his uncertain role, but Achilles injuries for likely starters Marlon Walls and Ben Martin on the defensive line have made the health of the Vols the biggest issue so far in fall camp.

Walls and Martin could miss the entire season.

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Comments » 45

VOLinATL writes:

Too bad....could've used more speed.

Munsterlander writes:

Dang.

Smokey_TN writes:

dropping like flies

bawgyman writes:

Oh no, we're back to the Johnny Majors injure them all before the season mode!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to bawgyman:

Oh no, we're back to the Johnny Majors injure them all before the season mode!

It does seem that Old Johnny had more than his share of injuries,dosen't it? Really not looking very good on the hill.We need depth and need it bad.Hope noone else falls to the injury bug.I hate it when young men from any team goes down.It not only hurts pain wise but also a potiental pro career.Ge well soon young man and good luck in life.All the more reason these young men should study and earn a degree.

kevin151 writes:

Aren't they not even not in pads yet??? Wait to they start hitting....

Willis writes:

26 DAYS TILL FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!!!!!!!!

BankerVol writes:

in response to kevin151:

Aren't they not even not in pads yet??? Wait to they start hitting....

Hey Kevin... Do you realize you can read your post before actually posting it? I choose to assume you didn't. Otherwise...dang, you're scary.

orangecountyvols writes:

This was biggest concern for a lot of us. Injury bug has shown up at the door.

Go away I B.

SEAL_9821 writes:

From what i'm hearing from an insider is that Walls wasn't even supposed to be doing the drills he participated in when he got hurt. Evidentally the trainer has gotten some heated words from the staff because he was not 100% and had been suffering pains in that area prior to the season.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

I was hoping he could add that needed boost to the kick return game. These injuries are starting to get ridiculous.

RandRams writes:

Well, to look at these rash of injuries from a positive prospective...overall, players will gain more experience particularly those that would have seen very limited action, if any, and too, we get to see if CDD & Staff truly have the ability to develop talent and motivate players to overachieve.

GerryOP writes:

in response to Munsterlander:

Dang.

Yup... dang...

Psychovol writes:

Dooley says the Vols have the deepest training staff in all of college football for all the good its doing us.

GerryOP writes:

in response to Psychovol:

Dooley says the Vols have the deepest training staff in all of college football for all the good its doing us.

You should probably change your screen name to Whackovol... and get some help.

BigOrangeInCarolina writes:

Sad to see this happen to a young man who wanted to give his all for Tennessee!

BigOrangeInCarolina writes:

This is totally off topic, but my wonderful wife got me tix to the UT-Bammer game. Can anybody tell me if they have changed visitors seating? Don't want to be sitting with the inbreeds. Our seats are lower level, section N, I think. That would be on the side with the jumbotron. All the other times I have been there, the visitors sit in the opposite corner, the one with the overhang.

iadvol writes:

Training staff needs to run stairs or something. This is getting out of control. Dooley will fire the head trainer if we have another major pre-season injury. Its scary to say but I wish Rollo was back in the training room...

oskie_score writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Love your optimism...now pass the kool-aid, I want what your having. chuckle

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

can we postpone all practices for about 2 weeks??

Bogus writes:

Just saw that none of the three players hurt (Wells, Walls, Martin) went through the entire offseason conditioning program. Think about it; Walls was suspended, Martin was coming off surgery, and Wells just showed up. I've seen too many posters blaming Bennie Wylie and his staff. That needs to stop.

AHoffman writes:

No need to worry. Dooley is spending $9 million on a new weight room.

TommyJack writes:

That's just wrong.

iadvol writes:

in response to Bogus:

Just saw that none of the three players hurt (Wells, Walls, Martin) went through the entire offseason conditioning program. Think about it; Walls was suspended, Martin was coming off surgery, and Wells just showed up. I've seen too many posters blaming Bennie Wylie and his staff. That needs to stop.

I was referring to the training staff and NOT the strength and conditioning staff. They are two different entities.

McMinnVol writes:

in response to BigOrangeInCarolina:

This is totally off topic, but my wonderful wife got me tix to the UT-Bammer game. Can anybody tell me if they have changed visitors seating? Don't want to be sitting with the inbreeds. Our seats are lower level, section N, I think. That would be on the side with the jumbotron. All the other times I have been there, the visitors sit in the opposite corner, the one with the overhang.

You are in good shape - nothing but orange in that section.

Go Vols!

uwishuwereassmartasme (Inactive) writes:

must be the grass...put in the AstroTurf

VolGrad writes:

Sounds like Dooley may have brought that injury bug over from last year's LaTech season. I think about half of his starters were injured by the 3rd or 4th game of the season.

Hopefully, there will be no more of this. Otherwise we may have to start recruiting guys out of the stands. You know none of the other sports' coaches are going to let any of their guys give it a go with football at this point. If this does keep up we may see Dooley grabbing band-members during halftime to coach 'em up for the second half.

tdvol1989 writes:

What is the deal? I have to wonder with all the talk about working and working out in the summer if everyone just showed up out of shape. I am not sure how all the injuries are happening, but the hard hitting has hardly started. And, these are not broken bones. Did these guys show up fat and out of shape?

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to SEAL_9821:

From what i'm hearing from an insider is that Walls wasn't even supposed to be doing the drills he participated in when he got hurt. Evidentally the trainer has gotten some heated words from the staff because he was not 100% and had been suffering pains in that area prior to the season.

acl's don't work that way...they are there or they are not. Partial tears might as well be complete tears.

The acl injury is the biggest, ugliest, nastiest thing going for athletes. f**king sucks for any kid who gets it. Typically, you don't even get the satisfaction of a hit...just a plant and a twist and you are history.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

You can strengthen the hammy and the quad...but still no guarantees.

Your best bet??

Wear shoes that have no more grip than your bare feet. That is my opinion only, not researched or backed up. Still, I have to think the biggest issue is the foot stays planted abnormally well while the body torques...SNAP.

iadvol writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hahaha and you are a clueless idiot!

bobo96 writes:

Bummer man. Sorry Sir Wells. Take care, I hope next year is still an option for you.

Mr. Oku; :) do your thing baby. I'd say you are better kick returner on average anyway. Just do it. ;)

NeylandWest writes:

in response to always_vol:

acl's don't work that way...they are there or they are not. Partial tears might as well be complete tears.

The acl injury is the biggest, ugliest, nastiest thing going for athletes. f**king sucks for any kid who gets it. Typically, you don't even get the satisfaction of a hit...just a plant and a twist and you are history.

I believe Seal was referring to Marlon Walls, not Evander Wells. Walls shredded his achilles.

67ralley writes:

in response to ShaversChoice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I applaud your concern as we all should here. This is bad for the team, sure, but this should be more about him right now. ShaversChoice has the right approach. Thank you for being the only one to mention his well being and thanks again to this young man's heart and effort.

beef4davols writes:

in response to kevin151:

Aren't they not even not in pads yet??? Wait to they start hitting....

WOW...that's just embarrassing!!!

whistlinwingman writes:

in response to 67ralley:

I applaud your concern as we all should here. This is bad for the team, sure, but this should be more about him right now. ShaversChoice has the right approach. Thank you for being the only one to mention his well being and thanks again to this young man's heart and effort.

I agree too and thanks 67ralley!

orangeman1 writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Sounds like Dooley may have brought that injury bug over from last year's LaTech season. I think about half of his starters were injured by the 3rd or 4th game of the season.

Hopefully, there will be no more of this. Otherwise we may have to start recruiting guys out of the stands. You know none of the other sports' coaches are going to let any of their guys give it a go with football at this point. If this does keep up we may see Dooley grabbing band-members during halftime to coach 'em up for the second half.

Maybe there's a Bobby Busheay on campus. Its going to be a long year.

johnlg00 writes:

Not a medical person or even a football expert, but Achilles injuries would seem to be related to a lack of flexibility in the lower legs. It is possible that most of our off-season S&C work was on building strength and bulk and not so much on improving flexibility. I could be wrong. These injuries suck, whether they are due to inappropriate training or just plain bad luck.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Not a medical person or even a football expert, but Achilles injuries would seem to be related to a lack of flexibility in the lower legs. It is possible that most of our off-season S&C work was on building strength and bulk and not so much on improving flexibility. I could be wrong. These injuries suck, whether they are due to inappropriate training or just plain bad luck.

john, I'm really starting to suspect shoes in both types of injuries (acl, achilles)

My rant: shoe companies spend all their money on shmmoozing and ads. They don't give a rat's a## if their shoes contribute to injuries or not. A shoe they sell for 150 costs them 10 bucks in a vietnamese sweat shop.

The science: the human body evolved to be barefoot. If you went barefoot all the time, your soles would be harder than leather. Anyway, those feet have two things:
-coefficient of sliding friction
-coefficient of static friction
The weight of the athlete also comes into play.

In plain english, it's your resistance to slipping. I strongly feel shoes and cleats are TOO 'sticky' right now...so, whereas in bare feet you would be able to resist force X before you slipped, now your feet can resist force X + force y...

the rest of your body, though, cannot. Well-developed muscles and technique really can help. But, if that foot sticks JUST so...snap.

Volunatic writes:

Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Evander!

TNPilgrim writes:

A young man of that age and physical condition should recover just fine. However, it makes one wonder if Dooley is getting these guys in the proper physical condition before putting them on the practice field. If that's not happening they're going to be more injury prone, especially under game conditions. It's been said that they're not going through full-blown two-a-days, so we have to wonder if they'll run out of gas in the forth quarter like some of Fulmer's teams did. Considering their lack of depth, the starters better be in great shape or the consequences could be severe.

always_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TNPilgrim:

A young man of that age and physical condition should recover just fine. However, it makes one wonder if Dooley is getting these guys in the proper physical condition before putting them on the practice field. If that's not happening they're going to be more injury prone, especially under game conditions. It's been said that they're not going through full-blown two-a-days, so we have to wonder if they'll run out of gas in the forth quarter like some of Fulmer's teams did. Considering their lack of depth, the starters better be in great shape or the consequences could be severe.

A close family member was in excellent condition, peak endurance, good strength, and tore the godd@m acl.

ACL's are nature's punishment for having fun, I think. Any way, point is that the ACL injury is very often associated with NO CONTACT and occurs because of an awkward plant or landing.

It's equivalent to applying too much stress to a thick rubber band.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to always_vol:

john, I'm really starting to suspect shoes in both types of injuries (acl, achilles)

My rant: shoe companies spend all their money on shmmoozing and ads. They don't give a rat's a## if their shoes contribute to injuries or not. A shoe they sell for 150 costs them 10 bucks in a vietnamese sweat shop.

The science: the human body evolved to be barefoot. If you went barefoot all the time, your soles would be harder than leather. Anyway, those feet have two things:
-coefficient of sliding friction
-coefficient of static friction
The weight of the athlete also comes into play.

In plain english, it's your resistance to slipping. I strongly feel shoes and cleats are TOO 'sticky' right now...so, whereas in bare feet you would be able to resist force X before you slipped, now your feet can resist force X + force y...

the rest of your body, though, cannot. Well-developed muscles and technique really can help. But, if that foot sticks JUST so...snap.

That certainly sounds reasonable to me. No question that the torsion effects of big bodies pivoting and driving at great speed put increasingly unbearable strain on knees and ligaments. If a shoe sticks in the ground under that kind of pressure, injuries like are inevitable. I certainly take your point that shoe companies are most likely WAY more interested in designing shoes with marketing in mind rather than performance.

OwensboroVol writes:

Is it just me, or do the season ending injuries seem to be way above normal? I know that you have to have some hitting, but when you are as talent thin as we are I believe I would cut back on it this year. I don't believe we can continue to lose a player a day to season ending injuries. We are going to be asking for Student Body volunteers before long!

tn_rockytop writes:

in response to The_Four_Horsemen:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

yea 14-0 go vols

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