Chase Minnifield entered his senior season poised to be the latest Virginia defensive back taken off the board early in the NFL Draft.
But a knee injury that kept Minnifield out of the Cavaliers' Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Auburn has continued to affect his stock with NFL teams.
The latest news came on Friday, less than a week before the start of the three-day draft. Citing separate sources, draft analyst Tony Pauline of SI.com and DraftInsider.net reported on Friday that Minnifield had "a micro-fracture procedure performed, reportedly on a non-weight bearing bone" in the injured knee.
Minnifield had the knee scoped in early January, and by early February he was running on the knee again. According to Pauline's report, the more serious micro-fracture procedure was performed during the scope.
Minnifield was an all-ACC selection at cornerback the past two seasons, and leaves Charlottesville ranked sixth all-time at UVa with 13 career interceptions.
Pauline ranks Minnifield as the No. 8 cornerback prospect in next week's draft, and projects him to be selected in Round 3. Mike Mayock of NFL.com ranks Minnifield 11th among cornerbacks, and ESPN.com puts Minnifield 12th at the position.