The Virginia Tech Hokies suffered a devastating blow on Monday when head coach Justin Fuente announced tight end James Mitchell would miss the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury in Satruday’s win over Middle Tennessee.
A crushing blow: Justin Fuente announces TE James Mitchell will miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed damage to his right knee that will require surgery. Mitchell, the #Hokies’ most versatile offensive weapon, got hurt on a goal-line carry against Middle Tennessee.— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) September 13, 2021
This is terrible news. Not only is Mitchell the ACC’s top tight end, but he is also a leader and one of the more respected players on the team. The Big Stone Gap, Virginia native, was injured on a goal-line carry Saturday, making the news even harder to grasp.
In two games this season, Mitchell recorded five receptions for 42 yards and one touchdown. This will presumably be his final season in Blacksburg as he bypassed the opportunity to enter the 2021 NFL draft.
Fortunately for the Hokies, if there is one position with depth it's at tight end. Sure, you cannot replace Mitchell, but Nick Gallo and Drake Deiuliis can play. Deiuliis is in his fourth year in the program and had a strong summer. Both are good receivers, although the edge goes to Gallo as a pass-catcher. Deiuliis likely gets the edge as a blocker.
One thing is certain, the Hokies will need both players for the remainder of the season, beginning with this week’s game at West Virginia.
Get well, James. Hokie Nation will miss you.