|Cincinnati defensive end Walter Stewart's career is over, according to his foster father. (US Presswire)|
Cincinnati defensive end Walter Stewart's football career is over, his foster father Keith Fields told Bearcat Lair. Stewart has a congenital defect in his spine that was aggravated against Fordham on Oct. 13. Fields told the website that Stewart was born without a posterior C1 arch.
“Walt was injured on the fourth play of the game,” Fields said. “But he continued to play the rest of the game. The acute fracture of the front part of his arch revealed the problem with the C1.”
Stewart has not played in the two games since the injury. In 44 career games, Stewart has 17.5 sacks. In the first six games of 2012, Stewart accumulated five sacks and seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
An ideal blend of size and speed, Stewart (6-4, 250) was a sure NFL draft pick, with some scouts predicting him to go in the first round.
“One scout told me that Walt would have never made it out of the first round,” Fields said. “He said that he meant it and wasn't just trying to make us feel better.”
CBSSports.com ranks Stewart as the 175th best prospect in the 2013 class, and coach Butch Jones referred to him as one of the best leaders he's ever coached.
“Whenever Walter Stewart talks, everybody listens,” Jones said last week. “When people suffer adversities, their true character comes out, and in very true Walter Stewart fashion, he's handled everything the best I've ever seen a young adult handle it.”
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