Maurice Hurst: Heart issue was detected at Michigan too

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst earned a spot on the Associated Press All-America first team.

Michigan All-American defensive tackle Maurice Hurst said in an NFL Network interview that the irregular electrocardiogram (EKG) that prevented him from going through NFL combine drills last weekend is similar to a situation that occurred at Michigan.

Hurst, a projected first-round NFL draft selection, went through a routine medical exam last Friday and was held out of workouts. He did remain in Indianapolis and took part in an information meeting with the NFL Players Association on Saturday.

“It was an irregular EKG. Same thing (happened) at Michigan,” Hurst told the NFL Network. “Went through a lot of tests and got that all figured out and was cleared, so hopefully just do the same thing once I get back to school and come back for rechecks.”

He was voted the team's MVP and top defensive player of the year last season.

A Michigan spokesman said he could not discuss Hurst’s medical tests from Michigan because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPA), regulations, unless Hurst gives his authorization.

Hurst hopes to be cleared to take part in Michigan’s Pro Day on March 23.

“It was a little bit devastating at first but then I just thought about where I’m at and all the stuff that’s gone into being here,” Hurst said. “I was just excited just to be able to meet all these great coaches and players.

“Unfortunately, the medical stuff didn’t come out clear. But I still got to have the full experience of being at the combine, being around some great players.”

An EKG is a noninvasive test that measures the heart’s electrical activity.

David Chao, a former NFL head team doctor who operates, wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune that the irregularly does not mean the end of Hurst’s football career.

Chao said medical decisions by NFL doctors are typically conservative.

“No one wants a tragedy,” he wrote in the Union-Tribune. “This ruling does not preclude Hurst from entering the draft or participating at his pro day. This is the result of one examination where doctors have deemed it necessary to have further tests done.

“Typically, abnormalities are discovered by cardiac echo/ultrasound or electrocardiogram. The hope is the additional tests, which can’t be done instantly and sometimes require stress tests, wearing a monitor for one or more days, seeing heart specialists, or more complicated tests will ultimately clear the player. This happens the majority of times.”

Hurst said he is now focused on getting cleared medically and going through the pro day drills. He was asked what he hopes to prove.

“Just kill it,” he said. “Try to have the best times and have some great position drills and show why I’m the best D-tackle in this class.”