Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced on Friday morning that the Panthers will be without their top returning defensive player for the 2019 season, as defensive end Rashad Weaver suffered a season-ending ACL injury during a practice session on Thursday.
”Rashad Weaver embodies what Pitt football is all about,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “He is an outstanding player, student and leader. Everyone in this program shares his disappointment, but we know he will overcome this adversity and return better than ever.”
The loss of Weaver is a huge blow to the Pitt defense, as he led the team in sacks and tackles for losses in 2018, with 6.5 and 14.0, respectively. In addition, Weaver was one of four upperclassmen listed on the Pitt roster as a defensive lineman, and the other three, Keyshon Camp, Patrick Jones and Amir Watts, are expected to start or are contending to start elsewhere on the defensive line.
Redshirt freshman John Morgan is listed behind Weaver on Pitt’s current depth chart, and redshirt sophomore Deslin Alexandre is listed behind Jones at the second defensive end spot, making them likely candidates to compete for playing time in Weaver’s absence.