16 Pitt players out for VT game due to COVID

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16 players will be absent from Pitt’s game against Virginia Tech today at Heinz Field due to COVID protocols, and that group includes multiple players who have started this season.

The absences come on the heels of the Panthers’ game at Georgia Tech last week getting postponed to December due to COVID protocols.

The biggest absence is freshman Jordan Addison, Pitt’s leading receiver this season with 52 catches for 611 yards and three touchdowns. But he’s not the only receiver missing the game: sophomore Jared Wayne is also absent.

Addison and Wayne are blows to the receiving corps, but the position group that will be most affected by COVID protocols on Saturday is the offensive line. Pitt will be missing three starters along the offensive front: left tackle Carter Warren, right guard Jake Kradel and right tackle Gabe Houy. Backup center Owen Drexel is also out.

Additionally, redshirt sophomore reserve quarterback Nick Patti, who rushed for two touchdowns in Pitt’s win at Florida State, is out.

The Panthers are also going to be missing several key players on defense. Redshirt freshman safety Brandon Hill made his first career start two weeks ago at Florida State and came up with eight tackles, a forced fumble and a 50-yard pick-six; he won’t play today. Nor will sophomore linebacker SirVocea Dennis, Pitt’s leading tackler this season.

Freshman linebackers A.J. Roberts and Solomon DeShields are out as well.

Pitt also won’t have running backs Todd Sibley or Israel Abanikanda against the Hokies; both are out with injuries.

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