Hokies battling injuries

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It’s an injury report that reads more like a Stephen King novel.

As of the most recent report, released Tuesday night, Virginia Tech’s horror story is 14 names deep – seven of the injuries being of the season ending variation.

By no means is the injury report or the physical ailments they represent an excuse for Tech’s 4-3 record; neither players nor coaches would make that claim.

Still, a healthier team – one that might look more like what the program envisioned having through seven games – might have this team on a different track.

After losing running back Shai McKenzie for the season (ACL tear) against Western Michigan, the Hokies lost even more depth at tailback against North Carolina. Trey Edmunds broke his clavicle, and the timetable for his return his uncertain. Marshawn Williams also suffered an ankle sprain in that game.

Williams, who wasn’t healthy enough to compete Thursday night versus Pittsburgh, expects to be ready this Thursday against Miami.

“I’m good. I feel great,” Williams said Sunday. “Actually I started to feel better the day of the [Pitt] game. My pain started to go away, my swelling started to go away. I went out there and ran a little bit, I just felt good.”

In a text conversation with running backs coach Shane Beamer after the Pittsburgh game, Williams told Beamer he felt 80 percent. As of Sunday, that number was 87 percent. No higher; no lower.

Williams is listed as probable for Thursday night’s contest, meaning there is a 75 percent chance he will play.

Fellow true freshmen Isaiah Ford and Cam Phillips, a duo that has caught 35 percent of completed passes this season and 54 percent of the touchdowns, are both listed as probable, too.

Ford is battling on ankle injury while an injured toe hampers Phillips.

Whether Ford and Phillips play or Thursday or not, the Hokies expect to see Joshua Stanford return to action for the first time since week three of the season.

Stanford stepped away from the program for reasons that have not been made clear to the media, and worked his way back onto the team by spending time both with trainer Mike Goforth and on the practice squad.

“We think he’s healthy again, which is great,” offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler said. “And that’s the most important thing is Josh’s well being, which is why he left the team. And we wouldn’t have brought him back if we didn’t think anything less than his well being. His well being is good, he’s in a good place and he’s ready to get back on the field.”

For Tech fans, the injury report is just as scary, if not more so, on the other side of the ball.

Cornerback Brandon Facyson, who was so good in his freshman campaign last season, but has struggled first with a hip flexor injury and then a shin issue in 2014, is listed as out for Thursday night.

The plan for Facyson is to sit out the rest of the season, and then apply for a medical hardship waiver (medical redshirt), which would count the 2014 season as a redshirt year. If Facyson plays again this season, which according to Tech coaches would only happen in an emergency situation, he loses eligibility for that medical redshirt.

“There is going to be a pretty good chance at this point in the year, unless something drastic just happens, I think that’ll be the route we end up going,” defensive backs coach Torrian Gray said.

As far as defensive tackle Luther Maddy goes, emergency or not, he is done for the season. Maddy underwent minor knee surgery after the Georgia Tech game and was expected to miss 2-4 weeks. Maddy elected to have an additional procedure, according to Mike Goforth, and is now slated to miss 4-6 months.

Like Facyson, Maddy will apply for a medical redshirt.

Linebacker Chase Williams, who is starting for the first time this season, will also miss Thursday’s game against Miami.

Williams suffered a knee injury against Pittsburgh, and although the redshirt senior is listed as doubtful, defensive coordinator Bud Foster made it quite clear that the linebacker won’t play. In his place, redshirt freshman Andrew Motuapuaka will make his first career start.

“Andrew did a nice job (against Pittsburgh),” Foster said. “He’s a young guy. He is going to get his first start. He’s played about 30 plays max. This is going to be his first time in the hole right now. Where we’re going to miss Chase; Chase is that leader. Even though this is his first year starting, he understands the defense, knows how to communicate and get everybody set up. Right now, Andrew is a little quiet, not a very vocal guy. Probably not a lot of confidence from that standpoint.”

Injuries are not the reason the Hokies ran the ball for 26 yards against Pittsburgh or converted on 2-of-16 third downs. They aren’t why the Hokies defense allowed quarterback Chad Voytik to run for 140 yards.

But they aren’t helping either. And without a bright light at the end of the tunnel as far as injuries go, the Hokies will continue to look toward Motuapuaka and others to pick up where the starters left off.

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15 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Time for Brewer to hunt a different bird this week. Bring us an Ibis! Let’s get Lane Rockin’ like ’11!!! It’s time to shut up and get to Blacksburg for Thursday Night!!

  2. I’m just glad that Shane Beamer kept the running back depth chart so deep. Top 3 RBs went down. No one saw that coming.

  3. Is this due to bad luck or is there something wrong with our strength and conditioning program? Seems like we have had a lot of injuries over the past few years.

    1. Nothing is wrong with our strength and conditioning program…how would that prevent a broken collar bone…an ACL…turf toe, sprained ankles, etc?

      It wouldn’t…it’s a violent game..and our Strength/Conditioning program is top tier.

      1. I’m also sure that our Strength and Conditioning program is excellent.

        But to say that the kind of physical shape an athlete is in has nothing to do with potential injuries is absurd.

        1. Too much focus on numbers in the weight room can lead to injuries, if you’re just trying to get as strong as possible and fast as possible that can cause other injuries. If you’re not concentrating on core strength, flexibility, and range of motion, but instead on building muscle you will get hurt at some point.

          Carrying excess weight puts additional strain on the ligaments and joints. Notice we haven’t seen many muscle injuries, but a ton on the ligaments, joints, and bones. All three of those can be affected by too much weight gain.

      1. B-burg Hokie you are spot on! Injuries are a b, alot of injuries is a real b, but they are part of the game.

        Go Hokies!!

        VT78

    2. The audacity to now complain about VT’s well known strength and conditioning program by some nobody is unbelievable. What are your qualifications that justify your comments.

      1. While I am not one to complain about much myself, I do wonder why you think the strength and conditioning program is above reproach and criticism? In the multi-million dollar college football organization at VT, everyone should be accountable for valid concerns about injuries. With all the people that get on all the websites and talk about Beamer and the football progran, how is this any different? Are the only people who have the credentials to dare question the offense, defense, coaching or team college or pro football coaches that were D-1 or higher? Is this unfathomable audacity to criticize the football operations without the proper credentials? I mean get over yourself…it is a valid question to at least bring to the table as a fan, alumni, contributor to the industry that is VT football. All parts of the operation must be held accountable to their constituents, and to simply ask the question is not some awful offense. To be honest, I felt like one of the answers was in the ballpark as a health care professional that has the credentials, but more than anything it was a valid topic to table. That said, I do think much of this can be attributed to bad luck, that football is a violent sport, and some of it has validity of guys that put on weight too rapidly. But some of that can be attributed to recruiting smaller guys annually and trying to fit them into a bigger position than their body frame calls for….our undersized nature catches up with us on the defensive side of the ball in certain situations.

      2. I believe he was just asking a question about it. I didn’t see any complaining in there. But I’ve also wondered the same thing. We have had a lot of injuries it seems. I don’t keep up with other teams so I don’t know how we compare. But nothing is wrong with asking the question. How much do they emphasize those little excercises that are there to prevent injury? I don’t know. Not saying that it’s the S&C program’s fault but just looking at it.

        Plus I think it’s kind of a dick move to call the guy “some nobody”. He’s another Hokie fan and unless you have some personal relationship with him and know he’s a douche or something I think that’s a little un-called for. Now I remember why I usually don’t comment anymore here.

        1. Geez, now I remember why I almost never post here anymore. I was just trying to start a discussion about our unfortunate injury situation this year. I’m sure that it is a combination of bad luck, player genetics and conditioning. Read this article below if you have time. It appears that conditioning does play a role in injury prevention. At least according to Stanford University and their Hokie strength and conditioning coach.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/31/sports/ncaafootball/stanfords-distinct-training-regimen-redefines-strength.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

          “From 2006, the year before Turley arrived on the Farm, as Stanford’s campus is known, through last season, the number of games missed because of injury on the two-deep roster dropped by 87 percent. In 2012, only two Cardinal players required season-ending or postseason surgical repair; this year, only one.”

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