Frank Beamer on LB Bruce Taylor’s injury: ‘It’s a tough loss’; plus more info on the Lisfranc sprain
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer couldn’t sugarcoat it. Losing linebacker Bruce Taylor for the season to a foot injury is a big deal.
“It’s a tough loss,” Beamer said on his Monday teleconference. “He’s played a lot of plays and made a lot of plays. Very smart guy. Gets us into right things. So it’s a tough one.”
Taylor left the Boston College game Saturday with a foot injury. Monday, the school confirmed the worst: it’s a Lisfranc injury, a sprain of the mid-foot, that will end his season. He’ll have surgery this week.
Taylor is the team leader on defense, which will be tough to replicate, but he was a play-maker too, one who was on track to lead the Hokies in tackles for a second straight season.
“I think the plays he’s made and the number of tackles and sacks, all those things, it’s a tough, tough loss for us,” Beamer said.
Beamer said senior Barquell Rivers and sophomore Jack Tyler will take Taylor’s place.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in both those guys,” he said.
There was no other significant injury news Monday. Trainer Mike Goforth, who made a rare appearance on the teleconference to talk about Tech’s rash of injuries, said he doesn’t expect any of the other injuries to keep players out Saturday at Duke.
He said late Saturday night that defensive end James Gayle (ankle) and cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring) should be ready to play.
Linebacker Alonzo Tweedy (ankle), who was in a boot after the game, has also made progress.
“He looked good yesterday and was looking even better today,” Goforth said. “It’s just a matter of how he progresses through this week.”
Some other quotes and notes from today’s teleconference:
- Goforth gave some pretty good details about Taylor’s injury. The Lisfranc is a mid-foot sprain. “If you were to look at it like it was a hand or wrist, your hand bones, it’s where it meets the wrist bones. That’s what it is. It’s down from the ankle and before you get to the toes.” It’s serious because that’s a pressure point for the foot. That’s why it was painful for Taylor to push off.
- It’s the same injury LB Jeron Gouveia-Winslow had two weeks ago. That’s a coincidence. “It’s bad luck,” Goforth said. “And it’s not as rare as you think it is. It’s out there quite a bit in the sports medicine literature. It’s probably the No. 1 most undiagnosed or misdiagnosed injury in the emergency room. … So luck’s not our side right now.”
- Goforth said in 2006, Jahre Cheesman, Brett Warren and Cam Martin all had the injury. Not all three required surgery.
- Taylor’s will. Goforth said he’ll probably undergo what’s called a “tight rope” procedure, which is progressive for this kind of injury. I’ll let him describe it: “They don’t have to put screws all the way through the joint. So it’s kind of a filament-type material that goes around the two bones and holds the joint together.” It’s the same procedure Gouveia-Winslow had.
- Goforth said Taylor will be non-weight bearing for 6-8 weeks before starting underwater treadmill and anti-gravity treadmill rehab work. Taylor will be limited in the spring, but Goforth expects a full recovery for the summer and next year. “We’ve had good results with them here,” he said.
- Lisfranc used to be much more serious than it is now. Many will remember that former Tech running back Kevin Jones‘ career with the Lions was never the same after the injury in 2006. But the surgical procedures have advanced.
- Goforth said the Hokies have had only one player not make it back from the injury. “Other than that, we’ve had great results,” he said. “Sometimes it does take a little longer than expected, so there’s really no cook book that you can follow with this. But we’ll take it real slow in the spring. (Taylor and Gouveia-Winslow) are two veterans and don’t necessarily need to get out there and beat it up for 15 practices. We’ll have to see how they are in late-February.”
- One last thing about injuries. Taylor’s potential replacement, Rivers, suffered a torn quadriceps tendon in the offseason of 2010. Goforth said he’s recovered well from it. “You have to realize when you tear that tendon, it will forever be shortened,” he said. “Your body just doesn’t respond well to taking a piece of that tendon out and trying to re-attach it. So he’s having to overcome that. And he’ll always have some tendinitis in that leg and some issues with his flexibility. But he’s made a great recovery. Obviously, mentally, he’s still sharp as he needs to be. And I think his veteran status is paying off.”