UPDATE 2: Sweat has weighed in himself, and he sounds resolutely upbeat. That doesn’t mean anything definitive, of course, but it’s certainly the best attitude for him to put forward.
UPDATE: We’ll keep updating you here as this story continues to develop. Here’s the latest on early returns from Sweat’s hospital work:
We’ve extolled the virtues of Josh Sweat here at USAToday HSS more than once this season, for good reason. He’s big, he’s fast and he’s monstrously athletic. In short, he’s the perfect football recruiting package, like a BMW with sports car power and handling, hybrid fuel economy and the storage capacity of a Ford Excursion. He can be everything to everyone at once, provided what you need is an overpowering defensive end.
On Friday, Sweat’s career arc got a bit more shaky for the first time. The Oscar Smith senior from Chesapeake, Va., was carried off the field on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance after suffering an injury roughly three minutes into the second quarter of Oscar Smith’s game at Western Branch High.
Virginian-Pilot assistant sports editor Jami Frankenberry was on the scene at Western Branch and provided blow-by-blow details of the aftermath, and he later classified the injury as an “apparent knee injury.”
While the injury may have set Oscar Smith back, it didn’t hold them off forever. The once Super 25 squad pulled itself back together, pushed out the lead to 35-14 at the half and then watched it balloon from there.
Of course, that did little to ease concerns about Sweat’s status, with the senior receiving medical treatment while his teammates continued back at Western Branch. His thumbs up en route to the ambulance aside, there was no reason to believe that Sweat would be back anytime soon. His absence leaves holes up and down the Smith roster — he plays on both lines and punts — but also could reshape the recruiting landscape at the defensive end slot. According to Andy Bitter, Sweat was scheduled to visit Virginia Tech on Saturday, but it would be quite a surprise to see him make an appearance in Blacksburg now.