Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko, NFLDraftScout.com's top rated senior prospect at the position, was held out of Saturday's upset loss to Wake Forest with a shoulder injury. Even worse, it doesn't sound like he's close to returning despite having undergone surgery on the shoulder early last week.
Seminoles' head coach Jimbo Fisher didn't sound at all optimistic about his senior tackle's chances at seeing the field soon when asked about Datko following the loss.
"It's not good. He can't play. The surgeries didn't take," Fisher said.
Datko underwent surgery over the summer to repair problems with his shoulders. He had separated one of them and tore the labrum in the other during his junior season. Despite the surgeries, Datko has been characterized as "questionable" for much of the early schedule this season and was held out of play Saturday after it was obvious during warmups that he was limited.
In his place the Seminoles started 17-year old true freshman Bobby Hart, who, not surprisingly, struggled.
With a clean bill of health, Datko had been rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a potential first round prospect. With a number of the top rated tackles from the Class of 2012 having left early for the NFL last season, Datko was the leader almost by default, as he ranked only fourth on NFLDraftScout.com's true tackle ratings behind juniors Matt Kalil (USC), Riley Reiff (Iowa) and Jonathan Martin (Stanford).
For my money, Ohio State's Mike Adams, who returned this past week from a five game suspension, is next in line as the best of the senior class tackles. Should Datko's troublesome shoulder(s) continue to be a problem, he could slip significantly down the board.