Virginia Tech will be without a pair of important backups on defense for the rest of the 2021 season as head coach Justin Fuente announced at his Monday press conference.
Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente is speaking to the media this morning for his weekly press conference.— David Cunningham (@therealdcunna) October 18, 2021
Has some injury updates: Dean Ferguson and Devon Hunter are out for the season with season-ending surgeries. Shoulder for Ferguson, knee for Hunter. #Hokies
DB Devon Hunter will miss the rest of the season with a season-ending knee injury while LB Dean Ferguson will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury that Fuente seemed to suggest has been a nagging issue. Both players will have surgery to fix those injuries.
Hunter had 7 tackles this season while Ferguson had 5 tackles including 0.5 for loss this season.
Hunter was listed as the starter at boundary safety on the initial depth chart but Nasir Peoples has ran the show since the start of the season with Hunter rotating in to give Peoples a break at times and playing a lot on special teams.
Jalen Stroman appears likely to take on a larger backup role at boundary safety while Keonta Jenkins could also rotate in some with breaks for Peoples and Tae Daley being balanced accordingly given Daley having spent some time at boundary this offseason.
Ferguson may be the bigger loss as he was one of Tech's primary backup linebackers in a unit that lacks much experience after Dax Hollifield, Alan Tisdale, and Keshon Artis. At this point, it's unclear who the next guy would be among the recent arrival freshmen with Tech being an injury away there from some bigger worries regarding their LB depth.
Virginia Tech's depth chart has also not been updated to remove Ferguson from it which may be a sign of how open that fourth linebacker competition is currently.
Both players have played in five games this season which truly enhances the unfortunate timing of these injuries as that eliminates both players from being able to pursue a medical redshirt for this season as the maximum is four games.