Isaac Bennett's on again off again spring continues.
The Pitt running back suffered a shoulder injury and was initially thought to be out of the remainder of the Panthers' spring practices. Bennett was then expected to participate in a part-time role, per head coach Paul Chryst. Turns out the former was correct, after all.
Speaking on the senior on Friday, Chryst said he's going to have shoulder surgery:
"Today was a methodical work day. We have to keep moving forward in these last two practices. On another note, Isaac [Bennett] got his MRI back, and he’s going to need surgery. He’ll be out for part of summer conditioning. That’s disappointing news, but I thought today was a good work day."
The surgery is a setback, obviously. Not only does it again limit what Pitt can do this spring a little, but it will now also cut into his summer conditioning. Initially, it was hoped that shutting him down could avoid him having to miss time this summer, but the surgery means that he's now likely out for the conditioning.
The other factor is that his return for training camp has to be somewhat up in the air. Chryst's response to whether he will be ready in time was "We hope so." Not entirely encouraging. Even if he does get back, one has to wonder if it will be at 100%, anyway.
Missing time in the fall is a lot different than it happening right now. In the spring, the team isn't anywhere near ready to play a game. By the fall, the team is preparing a little more and getting ready to suit up against actual competition. And with a new quarterback in Chad Voytik, you really want him to have as much time with the regulars as possible.
If he does miss any time this fall, one impact would be that incoming freshmen Chris James and Qadree Ollison could have a slightly bigger role. It's already going to be interesting to see how Chryst juggles Bennett, James, Ollison, James Conner, and Rachid Ibrahim, but if Bennett misses any time in camp, that will mean a little more time for some of those guys.