Starting tight end Ryan Malleck will miss the season after suffering a labral tear in his left shoulder at an Aug. 20 practice, the Hokies announced in Thursday’s injury report. He’ll have surgery soon and will use this as a redshirt season, returning in 2014 as a junior.
Running back J.C. Coleman is listed as questionable with an ankle injury, meaning he has a 50 percent chance of playing. That also applies to offensive lineman Mark Shuman, who is not far removed from knee surgery. He was originally slated to be out 4-6 weeks.
Safety Kyshoen Jarrett and receiver Charley Meyer are listed as probable with hamstring injuries.
Coaches were optimistic that Malleck, a 6-foot-4, 249-pound junior from Point Pleasant, N.J., was primed for a breakout season. He started seven games last year and caught 17 passes for 174 yards, but he was expected to be a major receiving option in new coordinator Scot Loeffler‘s offense, especially with how young the Hokies are at wide receiver.
“Love the tight ends,” Loeffler said shortly after being hired in January. “The tight ends are the perfect role. Playing with tight ends on the field causes major problems with defensive alignment.”
Malleck’s absence leaves Tech light in experience at the position. Junior Duan Perez-Means, who moved to tight end from defensive line two offseasons ago, is next on the depth chart. Another converted defensive lineman, junior Zack McCray, and sophomore Darius Redman are after him. None has caught a pass in a college game.
Malleck’s injury is just the latest in a string of injuries this August for the Hokies. Outside linebacker Ronny Vandyke (shoulder) and running back Tony Gregory (knee) were lost for the year.
Tech has the ACC opener against Georgia Tech on Sept. 26 as a potential return date for cornerback Antone Exum, who had offseason ACL and microfracture surgery.