The good, the bad and the ugly: Injuries and thinning roster continue to plague Cavaliers
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS)-- There is the good, the bad and the downright ugly on UVA's depth chart ahead of this Friday's ACC opener.
The good is that quarterback Tony Muskett is progressing in the right direction after being sidelined the past two weeks with a shoulder injury. Muskett was available Friday night against Maryland for an emergency situation but now coaches believe he may be closer to full health.
"I have seen improvement that makes me think he's beyond emergency duty," said head coach Tony Elliott, "Still working through some of the other things and kind of milestones and hurdles. I want to see him finish a practice without you know having any noticeable grimaces cause he's still got some pain involved and some soreness."
The bad lies mostly in defensive ranks. The defensive line continues to take hits as Paul Akere is now day to day with an injury. This is the fourth injury that has hurt the D-line (following Olasunkonmi Agunloye's season ending double knee injury, Chico Bennett and Ben Smiley's temporary injuries), a position group that was considered to be the deepest coming into the season.
Safety/linebacker Lex Long is out this week as he is awaiting MRI results. Adding another blow to the secondary, fellow safety Antonio Clary will undergo surgery for an ankle injury and is expected to be out for six weeks. There is hope that Clary may be able to return by the end of the season, but the priority Elliott says, is his long term health.
Moving on to the ugly, well it's not just injuries that are thinning UVA's roster. The Cavaliers lose another target as wide receiver Demick Starling has decided to redshirt this year with the hopes of transferring after the season.
"I don't anticipate him playing here next season," said Elliott "With all these guys I will say, we're in a different stage of college football, with the four games and guys can redshirt and you got opportunities to move on after the year so with him it's just a function of he's looking at big picture he feels like he can possibly have a better opportunity somewhere else. Biggest thing for me is to make sure he finishes, graduates, gets his degree from UVA, that's my focus right now and then we'll figure out long term at the end of the season what's best for him."
UVA hosts NC State at Scott Stadium Friday night at 7:30pm.