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May 22, 2012

Second Achilles injury could end Persa's career

Dan Persa's football career may be over.

The former Northwestern quarterback suffered a second Achilles tendon injury during a tryout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this month, according to the Chicago Tribune, which first reported the story.

Persa will undergo surgery on the Achilles in August. He saw foot and ankle specialist David Porter, who works with the Indianapolis Colts, after the injury.

"He said my foot was at 65 percent," Persa told the Tribune, "and during the season, it was probably at 50 percent. He said: 'If you ever want it to be semi-normal again, you have to have another surgery.'"

Persa, of course, ruptured his Achilles after throwing the touchdown pass that beat Iowa in November of 2010. He missed the final three games of that season, including a TicketCity Bowl loss to Texas Tech.

Persa rehabbed the injury but experienced rehabilitation setbacks in April and June, according to the Tribune, causing him to sit out the first three games of the 2011 season.

Persa returned against Illinois in Week 4 but was in-and-out of the lineup throughout the year. He still managed to complete 73.4 percent of his passes for 2,376 yards, 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, but he wasn't the same player when running with the ball, netting just 32 yards (after sacks) after running for a team-best 519 in 2010.

Whatever the outcome of this latest injury, Persa seems to be at peace with it.

"If football doesn't work out," he told the Tribune on Tuesday, "I'm OK with it."

Northwestern NEWS


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