Bryce Hall injury: What was he doing on special teams, again?

Bryce HallUVA cornerback Bryce Hall was a projected first-round NFL Draft pick last winter before he announced after the Belk Bowl that he would be returning for his senior season.

That senior season may not be coming to a premature end after what looked to be a gruesome leg injury suffered while blocking on a punt return in the second quarter of Virginia’s 17-9 loss at Miami.

Hall was blocking up front of returner Billy Kemp IV on what turned into a 19-yard return.

Kemp, after being tackled at the UVA 47, immediately sprinted back to Hall around the 30-yard line.

In a scene reminiscent of one involving another star Virginia defensive back, Anthony Poindexter, a projected first-round pick who returned for his senior season in 1998, we would see Hall carted off the field.

He looked to be in as good a spirit as one could expect given the situation, but also perhaps resigned to his fate, at least as far as the rest of his college career is concerned.

There is no word at this writing as to the extent of the injury, but it certainly didn’t look good, and ESPN, in its game broadcast, made a point not to show a replay of the injury, which probably counts for something in terms of severity.

The fact that it happened on a special-teams play has led to raging debates among UVA fans online, regarding the use of a star player on special teams.

Hall has been a regular participant on special-teams units the past couple of seasons, though interestingly, not as a returner, despite his game-breaking speed.

A quick check of the stats section at VirginiaSports.com doesn’t have him making a single kickoff or punt return in his four years on the roster.

All you can do right now, since we don’t know more, is hope that it looked worse than it turns out to be, and at the least that Hall will be able to avoid the fate of Poindexter, who fell from his projected first-round draft status all the way to the seventh round, ultimately playing on special teams in 10 games for the Baltimore Ravens before being released.

Story by Chris Graham

         
 

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