The worst news possible came down just minutes ago, as Virginia Tech has announced they will be without the services of projected starting WHIP linebacker Ronny Vandyke and last year's third-leading returning rusher, Tony Gregory, who tore his ACL for the FOURTH time. The Hokies' trainer Mike Goforth also announced that Tech would be without Mark Shuman, who was listed as the No. 1 right tackle on the depth chart at the time of his injury, for 4-6 weeks with a torn lateral meniscus.
Obviously, it stinks for Tony Gregory, whose career Mike Barber reports, is now over at Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech announces tailback Tony Gregory hasn't torn his ACL again and his career is over. #Hokies— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) August 15, 2013
It also gives the Hokies no running backs who have carried the ball in a collegiate game if J.C. Coleman misses the game, which is more likely to happen based on the injury prognosis that was updated today:
RBs dwindling for Alabama. If Coleman doesn't get back, Trey Edmunds only option. Caleb suspended, Gregory hurt. Mangus move back from WR?— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) August 15, 2013
As for Vandyke, his injury is perhaps the most worrisome. Vandyke was slotted as the starter at the WHIP linebacker spot after promising returns a season ago as a backup. The coaches felt fairly comfortable with Vandyke, despite giving Kyle Fuller an early look at the position. But the situation behind him is far from ideal:
OLB situation not much better. Behind Vandyke are walk-ons Josh Trimble, Derek DiNarod. Kendell Fuller in nickel, but he's needed at CB.— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) August 15, 2013
As for Shuman, many beat writers tweeted today that with him out, three of the top four tackles are true freshmen with Wyatt Teller's move over to the offensive side of the ball earlier today. As I detailed in great length earlier today, the Hokies could afford no more attrition along the offensive line. Tech has also announced that Augie Conte has a left ankle sprain, but is likely to return soon.
OL Mark Shuman has torn lateral meniscus. Will be out 4-6 weeks. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) August 15, 2013
OT Augie Conte has a left ankle sprain. Should be ready soon. VT expects him full on Monday. #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) August 15, 2013
For more updates on the Hokies' injury and depth chart situation as it becomes clearer, Gobbler Country will keep you informed. Stick with us.