Feared to have a torn meniscus, Baylor cornerback Travon Blanchard will undergo surgery to repair that injury on Wednesday morning, Jessica Morrey of KCEN tweets.
David Smoak of ESPN 1660 places the junior corner’s timeline in a positive light considering the prospective surgery being set to occur barely a week before the Bears begin their season, noting that Blanchard should be able to return after missing “a couple of games.”
That seems like the best-case scenario for the Bears’ talented corner who was set to resume his post as the team’s top nickel back. He’s coming off a strong season for a secondary that at the time also included Dolphins second-round rookie Xavien Howard. En route to All-Big 12 honorable-mention status, Blanchard enjoyed a versatile sophomore slate. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound performer made 83 tackles — which were second on the team — and forced three fumbles, also second on the defense.
The hybrid defensive back also registered two sacks. He’s set to play a key role again for the Bears, who are coming off a 10-3 season and are attempting to withstand the loss of Howard. Blanchard will prove to be a key player in ensuring Baylor can complete that. He’s set to return to a secondary that brings back four other starters — in a five-defensive back set — including fellow corner Ryan Reid and safeties Orion Stewart and Chance Waz.
In defensive coordinator Phil Bennett’s scheme, Blanchard vacillates between the role of traditional nickel corner and linebacker, a position he played in high school. Without their second-leading tackler, Baylor will be forced to deploy younger DBs early. That said, their September slate features Northwestern State, SMU and Rice before the Big 12 schedule commences Sept. 24 against Oklahoma State.