Virginia Cavaliers starting quarterback Tony Muskett left the fourth quarter of the team’s loss to the Tennessee Volunteers with an apparent left shoulder injury after being sacked and driven to the ground. He didn’t return after the fact with true freshman Anthony Colandrea stepping in for the injured transfer.
In Tony Elliott’s postgame press conference, he noted that “we know it’s his shoulder right now,” but that “we don’t know the extent. We’ll get back [to Charlottesville], and get some X-rays to find out. Obviously he couldn’t return to the game. Hoping for the best, but still just don’t know for sure.”
When Muskett came off the field he appeared to be in significant pain. After an initial look on the sideline, he went into the locker room with a trainer before emerging 10-15 minutes later still in his pads but without his helmet.
Without dramatically speculating, the amount of pain that Muskett was visibly experiencing after his injury can’t be a good sign. After he seemed to get nicked up early in the game with some minor lower body injury, it became clear that Muskett is willing to play through pain. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a shoulder dislocation, but a broken collarbone does appear to be in play.
The good news (if there’s any) is that Muskett hurt his left shoulder; his non-throwing shoulder. Not that he’d suit up in a game with a broken left collarbone, but rehabbing an injury that could require surgery would be less severe because he won’t have to use that arm to throw the ball. There’s still a world where he suffers a fracture but could return late in the season. None of this is ideal.
Before being injured Muskett did show off his arm talent the few times he had a clean pocket. He finished 9-for-17 for 94 yards. Definitely not world-beating numbers, but his lack of efficiency and lack of opportunities were far more a result of the five players who block for him than his own execution.
If Muskett does miss time it will be Colandrea who will step in as UVA’s starting quarterback. The freshman has been heralded by the coaching staff for his athletic traits and ability to command an offense in just his first fall with the program. He doesn’t have nearly the arm strength of Muskett. But, if he has to play, Colandrea will be fun to watch and should rack up some highlight runs. So that’s something.