There wasn’t a whole lot of bad news that came from Pitt’s 35-17 victory over Virginia Tech last Saturday, but they did receive some when it was made known that talented freshman cornerback Jahmahl Pardner will have surgery to repair a torn ACL this week and will miss the rest of the 2012 season.
Pardner suffered the injury against the Hokies on Saturday. He appeared in all three games this season on special teams and as a nickel back, recording three tackles, one sack and one forced fumble.
He will be eligible to use his redshirt this season as NCAA rules state that a medical redshirt can be used if a player has appeared in four or fewer games and has a redshirt available.
Pardner signed with Pitt as a three-star prospect out of Rochester, New York. He is one of four true freshmen to play for Pitt this season, along with running back Rushel Shell, tight end J.P. Holtz, and defensive tackle Darryl Render.
The loss of Pardner, along with the transfer to Arizona State of Lloyd Carrington leaves the Panthers suddenly very thin at corner. Pardner was the primary backup for K’Wuan Williams.
With the other side occupied by Lafayette Pitts and Cullen Christian, it could open up an opportunity for someone like redshirt junior E.J. Banks to claim a spot on the depth chart. With Carrington and Pardner both gone, Pitt’s deepest position on the defensive side of the ball has taken a major hit.
Due to his absence, senior Andrew Taglianetti’s role in the Pitt secondary should increase as he is expected to assume Pardner’s role as the primary nickel back.
In other injury news for the Panthers as they prepare to take on Gardner-Webb, Aaron Donald, Hubie Graham, and Todd Thomas are listed as questionable, while Jack Lippert is listed as doubtful for Saturday.