Lyndell Gibson's injury likely means that Tariq Edwards (right) will start in the Orange Bowl for Virginia Tech. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Yesterday we learned there was a chance starting backer Lyndell Gibson would miss the Orange Bowl due to a fracture in his left shoulder. Today, Virginia Tech announced Gibson definitely won't play against Stanford:
He will undergo season-ending surgery on his shoulder by Dr. Marc Siegel next week at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg. According to head athletic trainer Mike Goforth, the prognosis is good for a full return in 6-8 months.
The surgery means Gibson will not only miss the Orange Bowl, but spring practice as well. If his recovery takes the full time that is estimated, he'll be back right before fall practice for what will be his junior season.
Redshirt freshman Tariq Edwards will likely start in Gibson's place against the Cardinal. In 13 games this season he has recorded 21 tackles, forced and recovered a fumble. Edwards saw his playing time increase as the year went on and played the entire second half at backer against Florida State after Gibson's injury.
Coaches were high on Edwards' future coming into the season, but said in the media guide he wasn't physically ready to play backer. He's currently listed at 228 pounds, which is light for linebacker at this level, but at 6-3 he could probably add weight in the offseason and be ready to compete for the starting backer job.
He'll be the next in a line of Virginia Tech linebackers who have received their audition in bowl games. Barquell Rivers got his first major playing time in the 2009 Orange Bowl against Cincinnati and Gibson used last year's Peach Bowl against Tennessee to lock down the backer position for 2010.