Despite holding out hope that his right foot injury was nothing serious, an MRI and X-ray Sunday confirmed the worst: he had a season-ending Lisfranc foot injury.
“It hasn’t really hit me,” Tech’s leading tackler told reporters Monday night, his foot in a walking boot. “It won’t until I actually miss a game.”
Taylor faces a long road back for next year. He’ll undergo surgery next week, then 6-8 weeks of not being able to put pressure on his foot, then extensive rehab to get ready in time for next year.
It didn’t feel major when hit happened. He was engaged with a Boston College blocker Saturday in the third quarter when another Eagles player fell on his foot.
Although he’s out, Taylor thinks the Hokies are in good hands. Senior Barquell Rivers, the player likely to start in his place, was a starter two years ago who made 96 tackles. The other option, sophomore Jack Tyler, filled in during last year’s ACC title game and Orange Bowl.
Rivers took first-team reps Monday and Tyler worked with the second team.
“If any position could afford an injury, it’s the linebacker position,” Taylor said. “Because we’re so deep at linebacker. The guys behind me, they could be starters at other schools. This injury, it (stinks) for me more than I think it does the team.”
The injury solidifies one thing: Taylor will return for his senior season. The fourth-year junior was on the fence about whether or not he’d make the jump to the NFL after this year. Not anymore.
“I don’t think I have enough games under my belt for me to make that jump,” he said. “Anybody can put their neck out there. How they fare is different. The most important thing for me is getting my degree and stuff, so I’m just working on that.”
He said he’ll graduate in the spring, allowing him to focus on football next year and getting his body right for the next level.
“I don’t want to put a halfway finished piece out when I go for my audition,” he said. “I want to be 100 percent.”