Virginia Tech will be down to its third-string whip linebacker Saturday at Duke as the team announced Thursday afternoon that redshirt junior Alonzo Tweedy will not play because of a high-ankle sprain he suffered last week against Boston College.

Tweedy had performed well after replacing linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow in the Hokies’ win over Miami. Gouveia-Winslow suffered a season-ending Lisfranc sprain early on in that game.

In Tweedy’s place, redshirt freshman Nick Dew will play whip linebacker Saturday, but defensive coordinator Bud Foster intimated this week that the team planned to use its nickel package extensively at Duke. Despite a 3-4 record, the Blue Devils rank third in the ACC in passing offense this year (286 yards per game).

Because of Dew’s inexperience, there's a good chance the Hokies will slide cornerback Kyle Fuller into the slot, where he can cover receivers or blitz the quarterback depending on the situation. Senior Cris Hill would then take Fuller’s spot as a cornerback on the outside of the formation.

The good news for the Hokies’ injury-ravaged defense, though, is that defensive end James Gayle and cornerback Jayron Hosley were not included on the team’s injury report. Hosley missed last Saturday’s game after straining his left hamstring at Wake Forest.

Gayle missed the win over the Demon Deacons after spraining his ankle against Miami and then re-aggravated the injury during warmups last week and only took two snaps before removing himself from the game.