SALT LAKE CITY — Utah linebacker Chase Hansen revealed that he had a herniated disk during the 2018 season. Since then, he’s had a few things cleaned up but wasn’t able to do a whole lot on Pro Day for the Utes.
The senior, who earned All-America honors with 114 tackles (including 22 for loss), expects to be 100 percent by the time NFL camps open. In the meantime, he’s learning a bunch and getting out there to do what he can.
“I’m trying to make sure I’m smart with my body,” Hansen said. “Goal No. 1 is to be healthy wherever I end up.”
Hansen is taking a big-picture approach and doesn’t want to rush things.
“Medically speaking, I’ve had a lot of people give me advice to just be patient right now,” he explained. “As tough as the timing is for something like this, it’s probably the best decision for me.”
The injury, Hansen continued, occurred around the USC and UCLA games in mid-to-late October.
“I just got it injected and after the season I received some pretty strong advice to get it fixed for the long run,” said Hansen, who had the procedure done in January.
Prior to that, Hansen missed Utah’s loss to Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl after straining his hip in the Pac-12 championship game against Washington. He said that injury was a separate issue and healed up quickly.
That was the only game Hansen did not play in last season. Since that game, the former Lone Peak standout has been in the process of getting his 6-foot-3, 230-pound body to where he wants it to be.
Obviously, the timing to be sidelined physically isn’t ideal. Next month’s NFL draft (April 25-27) is approaching.
“It’s frustrating and I hope that coaches get a good understanding of what kind of player I am and what kind of player I can be,” Hansen said. “I feel like hopefully it won’t be too much of a knock, but I understand that it may affect things. Regardless of whether or not it does, I’m kind of ready and prepared for whatever. If I get an opportunity, I’m going to make the most of it.”