Virginia Tech senior wide receiver Ricky Hall broke a bone in his left foot in practice today and likely will not play in the Sugar Bowl Tuesday against Florida State.
Team physician Duane Lagan said Hall was running untouched in practice when his left foot rolled. Hall was taken to Tulane Medical Center, where the crack in the bone was confirmed. A protective split has been made to fit the foot, but Lagan said he is not optimistic about Hall's chances to play Tuesday.
"There is a chance he could play, though it's not a really big one," Lagan said. "We have to let it settle down a day or two and then see. We've made a moldable split we can put on it, which won't bother the healing process because it will protect it, but it's a matter of whether or not he'll be able to stand the pain."
Lagan said that planting and turning on the foot would be the toughest. That is especially critical for Hall, who is the Hokies' second-leading receiver (25 catches for 398 yards and three touchdowns) and the team's punt returner.
He set a school record for punt return yards in a season, returning 40 kicks for 510 yards and one touchdown, an average of 12.8 yards per return. The total broke Antonio Freeman's (Green Bay Packers) record of 467 yards set in 1994.
Lagan said Hall would not play if doing so would mean further damage to his foot, which might later require surgery, or if the pain prohibited him from being effective on the field.
"It's a matter of whether the pain would be so great as to keep him from playing well," Lagan said. "And it's just too early to tell right now. This is one of those times we wish we had a week or two instead of three or four days, but we don't. Right now we just have to get past these next couple days and see if it settles down.
"He sure wants to play, and I wish he could just for the memory of it, but that's being sentimental and we can't let that be what we base our decision on."
This city is known the world over for its food. Tourists crave its Creole and Cajun cuisines. But then there is Florida State fullback Dan Kendra, a guy who eats to the beat of a different chef.
"New Orleans is not really a place I like to be because it's tough to find good food here," Kendra said during today's media day session for Florida State.
"It's tough to find good food here for me with a lot of good biological value," said the 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior. "I eat like six meals a day and it's like a big hassle for me to find the good quality food. The food's out there, but just having access to it . . . Like when I come back from practice I order room service, so I'm giving away half my per diem with that."
Virginia Tech redshirt freshman cornerback Ronyell Whitaker strained his left knee on Tuesday in a punt-blocking drill called "Pride and Joy," and then hurt it again Wednesday in the same drill when a teammate's cleats got caught in his shoestrings.
Whitaker hasn't blocked a punt this season, and that will be the least of his concerns Tuesday night, when he'll draw the assignment of Seminoles wide receiver Peter Warrick, whom some Virginia Tech players say has gotten too much respect from opponents.
"I'm going to try to get in his face and get my hands on him, because if I do and kind of frustrate him for a few seconds, my defensive line will get [FSU quarterback Chris] Weinke," Whitaker said. "There's no doubt in my mind that we have the best defensive line in the country. That's what I'm going to do against Warrick."
Special correspondent Lee Feinswog contributed to this report.