A torn ACL cut short the 2011 season for Pitt running back Ray Graham. Unfortunately for the Panthers and first-year coach Paul Chryst, the injury will reportedly once again prolong Graham’s return to the football field.
According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, Graham is “unlikely to play” in the Panthers’ season opener against Youngstown State on Sept. 1. Chryst said as recently as May during ACC Media Days that he expected Graham to be available for fall camp.
Indeed, Graham has been — but in a limited role. Though Pitt hasn’t confirmed Graham’s expected absence, Isaac Bennett should get the start against the Penguins in such an event with freshman Rushel Shell likely getting snaps as well.
It’s doubtful Pitt will actually need Graham against YSU, but Pitt plays Cincinnati just five days later on Sept. 6, and one would imagine the senior won’t be ready for that game either.
The Panthers will want Graham back asap, though. Despite the injury, Graham still led Pitt with almost 1,000 yards through late October.