Rising junior linebacker Barquell Rivers tore a quadriceps tendon Wednesday and will be sidelined three to four months according to the BeamerBlog (per EBJ). Rivers will be out during spring practice and summer conditioning, but should return in time for practice in August.
The problem with the quad is it's easy to tweak. If Rivers tries to push it and come back too quickly, this is an injury that could nag through the season. Rivers is our best linebacker and we can ill afford to have him at anything less than full strength this season.
In the meantime, rising sophomore Bruce Taylor will fill in for Rivers at the mike linebacker spot.
Rivers made his first start for the Hokies in the 2009 Orange Bowl and had a great game, cementing himself for the starting mike spot in the 2009 season. He started all 13 games last year and had 96 tackles, 6.5 for loss. Rivers was consistent in the middle of the field for Tech and was its best run-stopper.
The silver lining from Rivers injury is that Taylor and other young players will get more reps in the spring. That will be important in Rivers' injury becomes a nagging one as the season goes on.