published Saturday, March 26th, 2011

UTC's Dyer advised not to play football due to genetic disorder

UTC linebacker Bo Dyer, center, is being held out of spring football practice to give him extra recovery time from a blood clot in his lungs. 
Staff photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press
UTC linebacker Bo Dyer, center, is being held out of spring football practice to give him extra recovery time from a blood clot in his lungs. Staff photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Audio clip

UTC's Bo Dyer

This story doesn’t have a perfect, Hollywood ending. At least not as far as football goes.

Bo Dyer won’t be out on the field scrimmaging at Finley Stadium today in his University of Tennessee at Chattanooga gear, maybe making a big hit or diving on a fumble. Those days are now officially over.

The redshirt sophomore linebacker, who sat out last season after developing a blood clot in his right lung in July, has been advised to give up the game.

“I wish it would have had a happy ending, but everything happens for a reason and I’m learning to accept that part of it, too,” said Dyer, who began his career at running back and scored a touchdown on his first carry.

Dyer is fit and the previous clot is long gone, but he has been diagnosed with a genetic disorder called Factor V Leiden, which increases the chance of developing blood clots.

LATEST LINE

Like the rest of the team, UTC’s offensive line didn’t have a good practice Friday. Right tackle Adam Miller said the linemen need to come out and be more physical during today’s scrimmage, which likely will include a lot more runs than passes.

Miller, one of two returning starters, said the line is adjusting to playing together.

“It’s about being comfortable with the guy beside you,” he said, “and as we’ve gone on through these practices. we’re starting to be comfortable with the guy beside us.”

“I feel healthy, I feel ready to play, but the risk factor if something does happen is the big issue,” Dyer said Thursday.

After the diagnosis Dyer was put on medication to thin his blood and dissolve the clot, and he was told to take it easy for six months. Once that period ended, however, he began working out and preparing to participate in spring practice.

When practice began last month, Dyer was on the field. He was held out of contact situations but was able to do the position drills.

The biggest concern for UTC head athletic trainer Todd Bullard and Dyer’s doctors in Chattanooga and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center was how to manage Dyer’s case while playing a contact sport.

“If he has a bruise to the thigh, bruise to the arm, bruises the back of the calf, we’re getting an ultrasound in 48 hours and another ultrasound four days after that,” Bullard said last month. “So if there’s a blood clot at any point, he’s on [blood thinners] for six months.”

Bullard said he’s not allowing any UTC athlete with a medical condition to perform until he’s confident that it can be managed. Ultimately, this week it was decided that the risk was too great in Dyer’s case.

“It’s been a roller-coaster: Can I play? Can I not play? It’s been hard on me to go up and down feeling like I’m really close to getting cleared to ‘you’re done completely,’” Dyer said. “As much as the game meant to me and as much as I wanted to come back and play, it’s been pretty devastating.”

Dyer said he and coach Russ Huesman have talked and Huesman wants him to remain involved with the team by coming to practice and attending games.

“I do want to take advantage of that because I love the team, love being around them, and I would enjoy being around them and watching them practice,” Dyer said. “It makes me feel better about it.”

Extra points

The Mocs will conduct their second scrimmage of the spring today at 4 p.m. ... Former cornerback Buster Skrine had a private workout with the New England Patriots on Friday and will work out with the Cleveland Browns on Monday.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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