Pitt football team will spend the rest of 2018 without one of their best players. In fact, he’s likely worn the Pitt uniform for the last time.
Pitt just announced that redshirt senior middle linebacker Quintin Wirginis suffered an injury in practice Tuesday that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
“Our entire team is certainly heartbroken for Quintin,” Pat Narduzzi said. “He was having an absolutely outstanding senior season, on and off the field, and we are very sorry it ended prematurely due to injury. Our team is one big family and we will certainly rally around him. Knowing Quintin, I have no doubt he will remain a huge influence in our locker room. His leadership will remain as valuable as ever for our program.”
Wirginis injured his knee in a non-contact play, immediately left the field and was later seen wearing a full-leg brace and using crutches.
Wirginis’ loss will be a big one or Pitt because he is a captain and one of the team’s best defensive players. Since the start of camp, he’s received praise from Narduzzi and Randy Bates for his productivity and what he means to the defense. Narduzzi has repeatedly said that he believes Wirginis is skilled enough to be playing in the NFL next season.
“The guy is impressive, making plays all over the field in the run and pass game,” Narduzzi said earlier this season. “He’s a great football player. I told you, one of the best Mike’s I’ve been around. The only way to prove that is do it week after week, and he does a great job with the game plan. He knows what’s going on. He makes everybody else around him better.”
Wirginis is a redshirt senior and has played over 30 percent of the season, typically the threshold to petition the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility.
Who will replace him on the defense? With the Panthers featuring primarily a nickel look the last few weeks, they’ve only been using two linebackers most of the time, so expect to see a lot of Seun Idowu, Elijah Zeise and Saleem Brightwell. In the base defense,Look for a combination of Saleem Brightwell and Elias Reynolds to play middle linebacker, with Chase Pine getting even more playing time than he has been.