PITTSBURGH– Pitt was already looking at a dismal season in the ACC but now their hopes diminish even more as the Panthers have lost their 2018 season’s sack leader to a torn ACL.
During Thursday’s summer camp practice, Rashad Weaver went down with the injury while the team officially announced Friday morning that Weaver would need surgery and miss the entire 2019 season.
“This is one of those ones (injuries) that makes you sick to your stomach as a coach,” head coach Pat Narduzzi told reporters Friday morning.
Weaver started all 14 games for Pitt last season and recorded 6.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and recovered three fumbles to lead the Panthers. During his freshman season Weaver played in 12 games and finished with three sacks.
Narduzzi told reporters that the injury was sustained during the ‘thud’ period which is code for no tackling to the ground.
“It was the very last play of inside drill. It was a pass, which inside drills 99 percent of the time is a run,” Narduzzi said. “I bet we’ve thrown six passes (during inside drill).
“Play-action pass and he’s coming off a block and the tight end is trying to run a route, block and then go. He just kind of threw him and as he came off of it planted his foot. It’s not like someone rolled up into him.”
Weaver’s goal for the 2019 season was to win the ACC Defensive Player of the year award. Weaver, a team player all-around, was seen on the sidelines helping coaches and holding a practice script.
Weaver will be replaced by sophomore Deslin Alexandre, who had five tackles in 13 games last season. Redshirt freshmen John Morgan, Kaymar Mimes and Habakkuk Baldonado also will be in the mix.
Georgia Transfer and true sophomore Brenton Cox is rumored to be in the mix for the Panthers after he was dismissed earlier this week from the Bulldogs camp.
Cox was a five-star member of UGA’s 2018 recruiting class, Cox was rated as the No. 2 strongside defensive end in the country; the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Georgia; and the No. 23 recruit overall on 247Sports.com‘s composite board.
In April of this year, Cox was arrested on marijuana possession charges, which were expected to lead to a one-game suspension according to mandated university policy.