- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tough news for former Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa. As the Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein reports, Persa needs a second surgery on his right Achilles tendon, a procedure which could end his playing career.
Persa, who went undrafted last month, re-injured the tendon during a free-agent workout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He originally tore his Achilles near the end of the Iowa game on Nov. 13, 2010. Though the Wildcats mounted a Heisman campaign for Persa last spring, he had a couple of setbacks with his rehab and was never fully comfortable.
A foot specialist with the Indianapolis Colts told Persa he needed to shut things down now.
"He said my foot was at 65 percent," Persa told the Tribune, "and during the season, it was probably at 50 percent. He said: 'If you ever want it to be semi-normal again, you have to have another surgery.'"
Even at just 50 percent or so last year on his foot, Persa completed 73.4 percent of his passes, finishing second in the Big Ten in pass efficiency behind Wisconsin's Russell Wilson. He led the league in passing yards per game, at 237.6, and had 17 touchdowns against seven interceptions.
Still, he was no longer the running threat he used to be. Persa could have sought a redshirt last year and fully healed. But he says he has no regrets, and isn't going to mope if his football career is over.
"Six years at a place is a long time," he said. "If I never play again, I'm happy with what I've done."