Photo Credit: Jake Roth
For the first time this season, Virginia Tech has single-digit absences with most of those players being out due to known injuries, but they are without a starter on defense.
Unavailable for the #Hokies today:— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) October 24, 2020
Virginia Tech announces eight players are unavailable for this afternoon's game against Wake Forest, list includes J.R. Walker, Jermaine Waller and Maxx Philpott— michaelniziolek (@michaelniziolek) October 24, 2020
Jermaine Waller is the lone starting cornerback out for the Hokies as he is out for the second-straight week after making his season debut at North Carolina. Waller's absence is injury related with it being unclear when we may see him return.
Brion Murray and Dorian Strong were Tech's starting cornerbacks last week against Boston College, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Hokies go with the same starting duo with Armani Chatman and Devin Taylor working in. Of course, it's possible Tech could use Taylor at free safety if they want to use Divine Deablo in a similar rover-like role as they did last week.
Tech's safety depth takes a small hit this week as the Hokies are without J.R. Walker for the second-straight week. Walker is Tech's top backup safety though Devin Taylor has proven to be a capable safety while Tech's three starting safeties are all available this week.
Walker Culver and Maxx Philpott are among the other absences today that are not known currently to be out due to an injury. Philpott has played at times, but is among the third string defensive tackles for the Hokies this season.
In addition to this being the healthiest Tech has been all season, the Hokies will also see starting right tackle Luke Tenuta return this week after missing the past two games. Tech's offensive line didn't miss a beat without him but should be stronger with him back in the fold on the right side.