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October 27, 2011

Official Injury Report

Filed under: Football,Injury — Chas @ 1:43 pm

It’s not pretty. Not pretty.

Junior running back Ray Graham suffered a right knee injury that will require surgery. He entered the Connecticut game as the nation’s second-leading rusher (134.1 yards/game). Graham finishes the year with 958 rushing yards on 164 carries (5.8 avg.) and nine touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Matt Rotheram sustained a fractured left ankle and will undergo surgery. One of Pitt’s most versatile linemen, Rotheram played in all eight games this season and started the last two contests at tackle and guard, respectively.

Additionally, junior receiver Cameron Saddler will be out for the rest of the season with a fractured sternum. Saddler played in all eight games, starting seven, and had 19 catches for 207 yards (10.9 avg.) and a TD. He was injured following a 40-yard catch-and-run that set up Pitt’s third touchdown for a 21-3 lead over UConn late in the first half.

Pitt has lost six prominent contributors to season-ending injuries this year. Previously injured players include sophomore safety Jason Hendricks (shoulder), senior offensive guard Chris Jacobson (knee) and redshirt freshman Salath Williams (shoulder).

All three are being declared out for the rest of the season. Still waiting to find out exactly what kind of knee injury, but obviously it isn’t a minor one.

Five players on offense. Add in Lucas Nix missing half the games to date, and over 25% of the original 2-deep to start the season on offense has or will miss at least 1/3 of the season.

Get well, guys.

Best of luck to those fellas and their health.
That is first and foremost.

Can’t whistle through the graveyard though, horrible news for Pitt football.

Comment by Dan 10.27.11 @ 1:51 pm

First time that I can remember that I felt so depressed after a Panther win. I kind of already knew that Graham and Rotheram ijury reports were going to be bad. Hope that both heal well, God’s speed guys.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.27.11 @ 1:55 pm

I feel awful for Graham. The most important thing is to have a speedy recovery, but I can’t help but think his draft status took a pretty big hit last night. Maybe we see him back next season?

Comment by Cool Hand Nuke 10.27.11 @ 2:23 pm

Agree with all the sentiments above. Devastating news all around.

I was hoping Graham’s news would be better based on how upbeat he was on the sideline. Must have had some good painkillers in him and good feelings from the fan and player support.

Most important is that all these kids get back to 100% of what they were prior to their injuries. What happens to the Panther’s season is secondary to that for sure.

Comment by TampaT 10.27.11 @ 2:40 pm

This is bad

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.27.11 @ 2:44 pm

When it rains, it pours, huh?

I hope all these guys get better soon.

Comment by Swinging Gate 10.27.11 @ 2:50 pm

well if the legendary Dr. Freddie Fu performs Ray’s surgery, he’ll be back better than ever next year. #Hail2UPMC

Comment by KP 10.27.11 @ 2:51 pm

Best wishes for a full recovery to all three players. This may mean Ray Graham is coming back next year. Offensive line is becoming a real problem with the center also limping around on one bad leg.

Rumor is that Jacobson is eligible to come back for a sixth year. Is this true?

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.27.11 @ 2:56 pm

I guess the silver lining is we may get both Graham and Saddler back next year as opposed to them going to the NFL. If that’s the case, maybe we’ll also get to see both of them in the fully installed offense.

Comment by A 10.27.11 @ 3:00 pm

Isn’t Saddler out of eligibility? I think it’s too late in the year to qualify for a medical redshirt.

Comment by Hollywood 10.27.11 @ 3:06 pm

Previous threads had some pretty negative energy comments from posters who are throwing in the towel based on the injuries to these key guys. We still have 4 games left to play in the regular season.

Adversity provides for opportunity. With Rushel Shell coming in next year, this could be the “grab my chance now” for one of the running backs buried on the depth chart. Guys like E.J. Banks, Malcolm Crockett and Steve Williams now might just as well pump up their resumes with some playing time this year while they have the opportunity. Sure they burn their redshirt but somebody has to step up now besides Corey Davis who has already done so, who wants it more is the question.

Whats more scarey now is the depth chart for the OL. Almost everybody on the roster who is ready to play has already seen the field except for Arthur Doakes, Shane Johnson and JC transfer Zenel Demhasaj. Demhasaj is recovering from an ACL knee injury from last year so I don’t even know if he is ready to play yet.

This very issue was the subject for extensive discussion during the preseason. I hoped that the injury bug would stay away from the OL because we were thin there to start with. Many didn’t see it that way and debated my fears in this regard but as I said then this IS now proving to be the Achilles heel of this team for sure presently.

Believe it or not, Pitt can overcome Graham’s loss, utilizing the players that are available in reserve,running the system Todd Graham has in place, but unless Nix gets healthy really fast we are in big trouble offensively because of the lack of quality numbers on the OL.

Ray Graham was good enough to overcome that issue with the OL and still cause major damage to opposing defenses but not so much with the guys behind him I fear.

I am very proud of how the team resonded to the early game injuries to Graham and Rotheram. They still brought home a victory and rallied over the adversity thrown at them. It will be interesting to see if this team has the potential to carry that forward and continue to win.

This season is not yet lost by a long shot. Can the younger guys “bring it” and pick up the slack for their fallen teammates?

As always, that is why they play the games.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.27.11 @ 3:11 pm

My heart goes out to Ray Graham-when they were showing him come off the field with the lips quivering made me feel sad-I blew my knee out many years ago and I know exactly how he feels-I remember hearing a pop in my knee and I bet that is what Ray heard-it will be a tough few days for him but he seems to be a very mature indivdual based on his attitide. It was a great win for Pitt and with the next game not for 10 days should help in the game planning for Cinncy. Will be curious to see how the running game is next week. Is anyone else annoyned as I am to listen to Low Holtz-he really adds nothing to the broadcast!

Comment by Bruce F 10.27.11 @ 3:50 pm

Tremendous losses for these young men who were all competing. Tremendous loss for the school. We can only wish them all best of luck. We sometimes forget that this is a game and it is played with the possibility of real injuries.

My guess is that Ray Graham has an ACL tear and it will be confirmed by MRI in a few days. That is 9-12 months recovery and another year to hit your pre-injury form. He is a junior which means that he only has one year remaining (not eligible for medical redshirt given the timing of the injury being after the midway point). My guess is that he will redshirt next season to be at full strength in fall 2013 (he is definately out of spring training if it is an ACL). Tough loss for a kid with an extremely bright future.

Saddler is just as disappointing given how much he has already gone through (previous ACL’s I believe). At least he will be back in the spring and next season.

ND has the Gipper and we have the “Curse of Sarafino” (Foge Fazio). We have never recovered from the curse that fell on this program when he was hired. Top 10 program perennially prior to.

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Comment by iphone 5 11.07.11 @ 12:55 am

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