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UNC’s top back won’t play vs. Louisville

Elon v North Carolina Getty Images

So much for Giovani Bernard‘s injury not being that big of a deal.

In North Carolina’s season-opening win over Elon, the running back injured his knee.  All indications from the football program were that it was seemingly a non-issue for the ACC opener against Wake Forest this past weekend, with the player himself indicating that he felt great in the week leading up to the game against Demon Deacons.

Bernard didn’t play against Wake, and will reportedly do the same this weekend as well.

Citing a source close to the team, the Charlotte Observer confirmed a report that Bernard did not travel with the team to Louisville for the game against the Cardinals.  Suffice to say, that’s a fairly significant clue the talented back will not be available for the non-conference game.

As a true freshman in 2010, Bernard tore the ACL in his right knee and missed the entire season.  The issue this time around is with his left knee.

This development comes two days after first-year head coach UNC head coach Larry Fedora told the local media that Bernard has “looked good. He hasn’t missed any reps. He looks good.”  Bernard also wasn’t included in the school’s injury report prior to the Wake game.

(Feel free to insert [/eyeroll] at your leisure at any point in the future Fedora publicly discusses an injury involving one of his players.)

The bad news for the Tar Heels is that, for the second straight game, they’ll be missing a player who rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.  And who rushed for 93 yards on just nine carries prior to the injury in the opener.

The good news is that A.J. Blue, who started in place of Bernard last weekend, has rushed for 145 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games.

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