Ole Miss loses key player to bizarre injury

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and his staff will have to work around Rod Taylor's injury. (AP)

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and his staff will have to work around Rod Taylor’s injury. (AP)

Ole Miss was dealt a blow when Rod Taylor — a key member on the offensive line — succumbed to a “serious” shoulder injury while participating in a non-football activity.

Riley Blevins of The Clarion-Ledger confirmed the injury with a spokesperson for Ole Miss. The Ledger cites a report from RebelGrove.com that Howard suffered the injury during a boxing match.

The loss of Taylor leaves a hole in a Rebels offensive line that already lacked depth. Taylor, a 6-foot-3, 320-pound sophomore was practicing at right guard with the first-team unit, according to Blevins.

The collision of injuries and sports is inevitable, but it’s more frustrating when the injury comes from an activity not related to the sport you play. If the boxing rumor is true, Taylor’s season is in jeopardy over something that was completely avoidable. In the pros, there’s language in contracts preventing football players from partaking in high-risk activities.

For instance, the New England Patriots said Chandler Jones would likely be voiding his contract if he stepped into the ring to fight his brother, Jon Jones, a UFC fighter.

College players don’t face such restrictions, but they arguably have just as much to lose. Boxing on the side and missing significant time hasn’t been known to raise one’s NFL draft stock.

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