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Virginia Football News and Notes: Injury, status updates

Ira Armstead
Iraken Armstead gets to the corner on a 4-yard TD run. Photo courtesy UVA Athletics.

Add freshman quarterback Iraken Armstead to the list of UVA players whose season is done.

Bronco Mendenhall confirmed the news regarding Armstead, who missed last week’s 44-41 win over North Carolina.

Armstead, after impressing in camp, started getting snaps when starting QB Brennan Armstrong went down to injury in the NC State loss.

The following week, in the loss at Wake Forest, offensive coordinator Robert Anae went to a three-QB rotation with senior Lindell Stone, grad-transfer junior Keytaon Thompson and Armstead.

Armstead was used primarily as a runner in wildcat formations in the Wake and Miami games, gaining 68 yards and scoring a TD on 10 carries, and completing one of his three pass attempts for nine yards.

Armstead also got some snaps at wideout in the season-opening win over Duke, in which he caught a five-yard pass

Armstrong, Mendenhall said Tuesday, is “returning to health,” after being helped off the field on the final drive of the UNC win, and not returning as UVA picked up a first down on a Thompson 5-yard run on a fake punt that allowed the Cavaliers to run out the clock.

Other injury/status updates


Really no word on safeties Joey Blount and Brenton Nelson, and cornerbacks Fentrell Cypress and Darrius Bratton, all of whom missed the UNC game.

“I get a status report every day, and I really don’t know,” Mendenhall said. “I’m hopeful they were back like three weeks ago, but the reality is, I really don’t know. The nature of the injuries and how, it’s really healthier for me, not to ever expect them back.

“That doesn’t mean wishing them not to come back,” Mendenhall said. “That’s not what I’m saying. But then when they come back, I’m surprised, rather than each day waking up, Are they back yet. Then if I get the answer, no, yeah, that’s not so good for my mental health.

“So easier for me to plan on after the bye, then to have for this game. And if they are for this game, everybody celebrates.”


Doesn’t sound good there.


Tailback Ronnie Walker, the Indiana transfer, who had to wait forever to get clearance to play from the NCAA, looks to finally be a go.

“Ronnie was still not available last week. He is available now. He was with us, practicing yesterday,” Mendenhall said.

D line

The defensive line is thin with redshirt freshman defensive end Ben Smiley out with an injury.

“We have five healthy defensive linemen that we had for last game. So, we are thin,” Mendenhall said. “However, many teams have issues at different positions, either COVID or health-related. I’m only acknowledging it because I’m asked right now. We just know what it is and what it takes, and we just go on. We don’t have many, but we have enough. And that’s, that’s where we are.

Story by Chris Graham