The hopes and expectations for this upcoming 2020 season for Tar Heels are as high as any since the 2010 season. On Thursday, though, those hopes took a blow, as the program revealed that one of the Tar Heels projected defensive role players had surgery to repair a lower-body injury.
True freshman Kedrick Bingley-Jones had successful surgery to repair an injury that was suffered earlier this spring. As of right now, there is no official timetable for his recovery, but the program did say that they are expecting him to make a full recovery.
Bingley-Jones joined the team back in January as an early enrollee and had put on 18 lbs. to get up to 293 lbs. to play inside at nose tackle, a spot where he was desperately needed for depth. Bingley-Jones was expected to be the primary contributor at nose tackle in the spring with both Jahlil Taylor and Wisdom Asaboro expected to miss spring practice due injury. With spring practice cancelled due to COVID-19, the focus is on getting all of these guys healthy by the start of the season, but right now that is easier said than done. With Bingley-Jones’ injury, it is likely only one of the Tar Heels four projected scholarship nose tackles will enter the season fully healthy. If the season starts on time in September, the nose tackle position will be the biggest question mark on the team.
This is definitely a significant blow for the Tar Heels defensive line, but luckily there is still around four months until the scheduled start of the season. If this is an Achilles injury like some has been rumoring, Bingley-Jones will be out for a significant period of time. With the limited depth at the position, the Tar Heels are definitely hoping that he’ll be able to recover by the fall or that the season gets pushed back. If not, there will be a lot of pressure on Clyde Pinder Jr. to be able to come in and make an immediate impact.