James Conner injury a big one for Pitt

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt lost to Virginia Tech on Sunday, but they suffered another loss in the form of running back James Conner. Conner exited with a shoulder injury after only two carries for a single yard against the Hokies and didn't return.

Per Chris Peak, the injury is a recurrence of one he suffered in training camp.

Isaac Bennett emerged a bit, picking up 31 yards on only seven carries (4.4 yards per carry) and Rachid Ibrahim got some time as well with five carries for 17 yards. But the loss of Conner will hurt Pitt if he's going to miss any games.

Bennett has struggled this season and despite finding a little bit of room on Saturday, hasn't been all that reliable this season. Ibrahim has provided a minor spark, but is more a change of pace back and with his size, there have to be questions about how many carries he can handle, anyway. Conner is averaging a full yard per carry more than Bennett this season (5.5 ypc to 4.5 ypc).

Just as importantly, Pitt is better off having both Conner and Bennett. Having both keeps one guy fresh at all times and when one isn't running particularly well, there's another option.

Conner has been Pitt's best back and the team will be better off with him not missing any time. Will be interesting to see how injured he is and if he's able to go this weekend. Pitt can still beat Old Dominion without him, but with some big games coming up later in the year, getting him as many reps as possible is ideal.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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