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First-round prospect Jake Butt injures knee, doesn’t regret playing

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 30: Jake Butt #88 of the Michigan Wolverines receives medical attention in the first half against the Florida State Seminoles during the Capitol One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on December 30, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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Michigan tight end Jake Butt, a potential first-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft, suffered what may have been a serious knee injury last night in the Orange Bowl. But he says he doesn’t regret playing.

After his team lost to Florida State, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he doesn’t know the severity of Butt’s injury, but that it’s an “MCL or ACL” tear. That makes it likely that Butt won’t be able to go through the Combine and work out for NFL teams, and may not be ready to go for the start of his rookie season. The injury could cost him a significant amount of money.

And yet Butt said after the game that he doesn’t regret playing in the Orange Bowl.

“Never once crossed my mind to sit this game out and I would never change that mindset,” Butt wrote on Twitter. “I play this game because I love it, my teammates and coaches.”

Two other first-round prospects, LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, skipped their bowl games because they wanted to stay healthy for the draft. Butt could have done that and chose not to, something that may endear him to NFL teams -- but not enough to make them overlook his knee injury.