Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith took to the practice field on Tuesday for the first time since having to undergo an emergency appendectomy on Aug. 3. That surgery happened just hours before Smith had been set to take part in the opening day of U of L’s fall camp.
“It felt good,” Smith said of being back. “I felt slightly winded early on in practice, but the more practice went on I began to get back in football shape. It felt good to be out there running around.”
Widely considered to be Louisville’s top returner, Smith was the lone Cardinal named to the preseason All-ACC Team last month. A year ago, he led Louisville with 60 catches for 980 yards and seven touchdowns despite missing three games with a wrist injury.
So could Smith be good to go by Sept. 1? Both the player and his head coach believe so.
“I feel good about him for Alabama,” Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino said. “The way he looked out there today and he’s a veteran. He understands the offense and didn’t miss any assignments. That’s one of Jaylen’s strengths, how much he knows about the game of football. He just jumped right in and took off.”
Smith was even more confident.
“I don’t have any doubts that I will be ready to go, especially after how I felt today. We have 11 more days before game day, so I think I will be perfectly fine.”