Just ahead of their huge matchup with No. 5 Notre Dame, Pitt received some terrible news this week as the school announced that senior linebacker Quintin Wirginis suffered a knee injury in practice on Tuesday and underwent season-ending surgery on Wednesday.
“Our entire team is certainly heartbroken for Quintin,” head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “He was having an absolutely outstanding senior season, on and off the field, and we are very sorry it ended prematurely due to injury. Our team is one big family and we will certainly rally around him. Knowing Quintin, I have no doubt he will remain a huge influence in our locker room. His leadership will remain as valuable as ever for our program.”
To say this is a huge blow for the Panthers is an understatement as Wirginis was a defensive captain and, in many ways, the heart and soul of the team’s defense. He led Pitt in tackles, sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles at the time of his injury and played a big role in the upset against Syracuse last Saturday.
A pair of redshirt sophomores figure to try to fill the role of Wirginis at middle linebacker in Chase Pine or Elias Reynolds.
Interestingly, Pitt’s release said only that Wirginis was lost for the season even though he was a senior at the time of the injury. While it may very well be the end of his career with the program, it’s possible the school is leaving open the possibility of a waiver to get another year back considering he missed most of the 2017 campaign with a combination of an injury and suspension.