The Hokies newly anointed starting left tackle, Nick Becton, will miss the next two weeks of practice due to turf toe suffered Sunday at practice. Turf toe, which sounds innocuous enough, is actually a painful sprain to the ligaments of the big toe. Here's WebMD's run down. According to the site, the only thing that helps the injury is rest:
It typically takes two to three weeks for the pain to subside. After the immobilization of the joint ends, some patients require physical therapy in order to re-establish range of motion, strength, and conditioning of the injured toe.
With Becton now in a walking boot, junior Andrew Lanier has taken his spot as the No. 1 LT for now. Lanier played in nine games last season, including a start at Duke while backing up Blake DeChristopher at right tackle. He'll get the reps Becton desperately needed to prepare for his first career start.
Becton is still expected to play and likely start against Boise State. When he returns, there will probably only be two weeks of August practice remaining for him to improve and work on his chemistry with the rest of the offensive line. He may have won the starting LT job in the spring and get rave reviews from the coaches, but he's still a project.
He still had a lot to work on before the opener, according to offensive line coach Curt Newsome:
ON WHAT BECTON MOST NEEDED TO IMPROVE THIS CAMP: "Identification of defenses, seeing what's out there. Understanding that. Everybody needs reps in fundamentals ... but as far as, ‘We think we're going to get a blitz in this look,' and things. Who I'm working to on a certain play. All those type things. He needs to be out there. It's a set-back. No question about it."
While Lanier has shown a lot of promise at left tackle, it's still a big concern that Becton will be out. I think the offensive line depth is at a point where we can't really afford any injuries. But as Kyle Tucker talked about in his post on the injury, it looks like the Hokies are developing some O-line depth that will show beginning next year.