Virginia received some good news this week regarding the health of running back Perry Jones. After suffering a concussion in a defeat to Maryland, Jones has been cleared to play this weekend when the Cavaliers try to halt a six-game losing streak against Wake Forest.
Virginia Coach Mike London said Jones has practiced all week, and classified the injury as “more just a momentarily woozy type of feeling” when asked to update Jones’s status Thursday. The senior suffered the injury in the third quarter last week.
Jones is Virginia’s second-leading rusher and receiver this season, with 318 yards rushing and 23 catches for 228 yards.
But right tackle Morgan Moses was a surprise addition on this week’s injury report. After starting every game this year, the junior was listed as questionable for an undisclosed medical reason. If Moses can’t play, it could mean redshirt freshman Jay Whitmire (T.C. Williams) receives his first career start
It would be a significant loss, though, especially since the Cavaliers’ interior offensive line has struggled at times this year. Earlier this week, offensive line coach Scott Wachenheim defended Moses’s play when asked if the 325-pounder had regressed this season.
“I don’t think you guys are watching every play,” Wachenheim said. “He’s having his best season by far since I’ve been here and I’ve been here his whole career. Every lineman misses blocks. Watch the NFL. Watch the all-pro linemen, the guys who get elected to the Pro Bowl. They miss blocks. The problem is, that’s all that people focus on sometimes.
“They don’t watch the tape and watch what he’s [Moses] doing good. There’s been some blocks this year that have just been incredible that he’s made. I’m very happy with the way he’s playing and with the leadership he’s providing.”
The Cavaliers will be without defensive end Bill Schautz for a fourth consecutive game because of a hamstring injury. London is hopeful he will be able to return to the lineup when Virginia travels to North Carolina State on Nov. 3 after next week’s bye.
“I don’t think it’s a question of not getting him back, but it’s when,” London said this week. “We do miss him. That’s one of our counted-on playmakers that haven’t been playing. He’s a vocal guy, too. We have [linebacker] La’Roy Reynolds out there that’s very vocal. But you miss the energy he has and plays with.”
Wide receiver Tim Smith (ankle) was listed as probable after missing the past two games due to injury. Defensive lineman Justin Renfrow (upper extremity) is also probable.