Virginia Tech’s starting quarterback Josh Jackson has been ruled out indefinitely after fracturing his left fibula in Saturday’s loss against Old Dominion, head football coach Justin Fuente said Monday.
Jackson, the redshirt sophomore from Ann Arbor, will undergo surgery on Tuesday, according to Fuente’s comments. Tech’s starting quarterback for the game this upcoming Saturday at No. 22 Duke will be Ryan Willis, who played the remainder of the game after Jackson left in the fourth quarter against the Monarchs.
Fuente said, “The timetable, I’m a little uncertain on,” when asked about how likely it would be for Josh Jackson to return this season. “It’s going to certainly be a little while before he’s able to get back out there and play.” Fuente went on to say that Jackson landed on his leg the wrong way on the play but Ryan Willis performed well when the coaches put him into the game.
Jackson ran the ball on a 19-yard play and was tackled by a Monarch player but stayed down with 12:41 to go in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 28 when he went down. Jackson was surrounded by the trainers for a few minutes and finally limped over to the sideline with their help, not putting any pressure on his leg. The trainers took off his left sock and shoe and evaluated him for a few minutes before bringing out the cart so they could take him back to the medical room.
When Jackson returned to the sideline, he was wearing a boot on his left foot and walking on crutches. He finished the game with 8 of 16 passes completed for 151 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while adding 58 yards on the ground on 11 attempts.
Willis stepped into the game after Jackson’s injury and completed 9 of 18 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown to Chris Cunningham. The Hokies had another scoring opportunity with two and a half minutes to go in the game, but Damon Hazelton could not pull in Willis’s pass on a fourth and four. Willis led four drives in the game.
This season, Jackson has completed 36 of 58 passes for 575 yards, 5 touchdowns, and one interception. In that same time span, Willis, who has received bits of playing time late in games, has completed 13 of 25 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. Jackson also has 120 rush yards on 20 attempts, while Willis has recorded 40 yards on 5 attempts.
With Willis being the starting quarterback on the roster now for the Hokies, redshirt freshman Hendon Hooker steps into the second string role and true freshman Quincy Patterson will be third on the depth chart. Hooker saw action against William and Mary, including running for a 69 yard touchdown. Patterson has yet to see the field.
Fuente was not sure whether or not Jackson would return to the field at the end of the year. Tech’s offense is in Willis’s hands now. The walk-on transfer from Kansas arrived in January of 2017 and was granted a scholarship sometime since then.
The 2-1 Hokies face a tough challenge going into Durham on Saturday where the 4-0 Blue Devils will be patiently waiting.