According to David McArthur, director of public relations at the University of Louisville Health, sixth-year running back Perris Jones underwent spine surgery at the UofL Hospital after receiving emergency care from the UofL Health Sports Medicine team during the game Nov. 9. He then went through physical and occupational therapy at Frazier Rehabilitation Institute. After 19 days, he was deemed healthy enough to travel Tuesday.
Jones’ gruesome injury was a massive loss to Virginia both on and off the field. His energetic personality was a major boost to the Cavalier locker room every day of practice, and he was a leader among a stable of talented running backs statistically and as a role model. The Cavaliers have endured adversity greater than any other college football team in the country over the past calendar year — yet through tragedy, a cohort of bright young men has bonded together with pride and passion to keep moving forward. Jones himself reflected on his appreciation for his teammates in a press conference held Tuesday.
“[Mike Hollins] is my warrior right there,” Jones said. “If he can do it, I can do it too.”
Despite a 3-9 record, Coach Tony Elliott has undoubtedly led a culture change at Virginia that will benefit the future of the program in a meaningful way. The iconic V-Sabre synonymous with the University is now synonymous with something greater — hope and perseverance. Elliott’s squad held their heads high through each exciting win or brutal loss.
Brighter days are ahead for the Cavaliers in overcoming adversity and creating a successful program, and inspirational men like Jones are essential. For now, Jones’ continued recovery and reloading the roster for 2024 can be cause for excitement in regards to the future of Cavalier football.
The GoFundMe page on Jones’ behalf can be found here.