Mississippi defensive tackle Peria Jerry, a potential first-round pick in the 2009 NFL draft, had arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday to repair a torn lateral meniscus.
Jerry is expected to be sidelined for the first month of the season.
This is a big blow for a Rebels team that has suffered several injuries on the defensive line. Defensive end Greg Hardy will be sidelined for the first two months of the season and Ted Laurent, the projected starter at nose tackle, had knee surgery last month and will also miss the start of the season. The Rebels D-line should have been a team strength, but now they will have to rely on a lot of inexperienced players.
"We're thankful a ligament was not involved, and we're glad Peria will be back this season," Rebels head coach Houston Nutt said. "We've had a bad injury bug to our defensive line this preseason. Fortunately, we feel none of the injuries have been season ending, and we're looking forward to getting everyone back."
Jerry, a 290-pound senior, had 14 tackles for loss in 2007.
Bruce Feldman is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine.