The only Pitt starter listed on the depth chart who didn’t play in the Sept. 4 season opener against UMass, Deslin Alexandre returned to practice on Tuesday, Sept. 7 as he continues to work his way back from injury.
Narduzzi remained noncommittal on whether Alexandre will be ready in time for Pitt’s road opener against Tennessee during his Monday press conference.
“I think he’s getting closer,” Narduzzi said. “We’ll see. Might be a week out, I don’t know.”
Alexandre, a 6-foot-4, 285 pound redshirt senior and team captain, looked good in practice, playing at full speed and participating in all the drills during the media window. He moved well and even spun out of contact while serving as the ball carrier in one tackling drill, despite his undisclosed injury.
Although Narduzzi was vague on when Alexandre will return, he made it clear that the Panthers need him soon. Narduzzi said that the defensive end group had trouble in Alexandre’s absence, calling them out as a group that needs to improve. He cited Habbakuk Baldonado and John Morgan III’s lack of starting experience (three career starts between them, compared to 15 for Alexandre) and experience playing at game speed as issues for the team against the Minutemen.