Monday’s injury report for the Tar Heels was a relatively positive one for the team considering they suffered more attrition on the offensive side of the ball on Saturday.
Offensive guard Willie Lampkin, who missed the game on Saturday with a lower-body injury after showing a visible limp during warmup, is one of two players who will be monitored this week ahead of Saturday night’s game against Pittsburgh. Lampkin’s absence was definitely noticeable against Minnesota, especially in the run game. After running for 247 yards and 10.7 yards per play to the left side in the Appalachian State game the week before, the team ran for just 26 yards and 2.0 yards per play to the left side on Saturday. Ed Montilus had a solid day in pass protection, but he just isn’t as complete a player as Lampkin, so they need the Coastal Carolina transfer to return as soon as possible.
Wide receiver Gavin Blackwell will also be monitored throughout the week after exiting Saturday’s game in the third quarter with an upper-body injury. The good news is that Nate McCollum is back to full strength in the slot and it has allowed the team to move Kobe Paysour to the outside opposite of J.J. Jones. This could also mean more run for Andre Greene Jr., who Chip Lindsey said is “getting closer” in terms of being able to make an impact.
The team also confirmed that Lejond Cavazos and RJ Grigsby are working their way back from their injuries suffered during fall camp. Both had a timetable of four to six weeks back in mid-August and appear to be right on track. Cavazos will help to provide some added depth for the team at corner, while Grigsby will be a little deeper on the depth chart on the interior of the offensive line.
The team did not provide any update on placekicker Ryan Coe, who was not dressed out on Saturday with a lower-body injury. Noah Burnette (4-4 XP, 1-1 FG) and Liam Boyd (5 KO, 3 TB, 2 fair catches) filled his shoes nicely and they will likely handle the duties again this weekend.