Filling in the Injury Gaps on the Defense

Injuries can be a detriment to an entire season, but seemingly for the first time in a long time, we do not have to panic when we dip into the depth chart a little bit. Obviously, you want the best players on the field in any given week to give you the best chances for success, but the Mountaineers will go without the services of #19 Trey Lathan for the rest of the season. Suffering a severe leg injury requiring surgery, Lathan could not travel with the team back to Morgantown and continues to recover in Ft. Worth following his cart exit from the field Saturday night.

Will Linebacker Trey Lathan (Out for the Season)

Trey Lathan, the freshman, is a phenom for our defense and will be sorely missed through the games to come for his disruptive presence and attack to the ball. The depth chart for the TCU game had the second string for the Will Linebacker position being Jairo Faverus, a sophomore with a total of 4 tackles on the season. Third-string, and truthfully the likely actual starter in the missing Lathan’s place, will be #15 Ben Cutter, a freshman involved in 12 tackles this year. It would only make sense to leave the vacated position in the hands of the more productive of the two backups.

Free Safety Aubrey Burks (Unknown)

On the other hand, Aubrey Burks is less defined in what to expect. We have all seen the story that he was able to leave the hospital on his own, which is certainly a great sign, but it also does not scream back in action in 11 days, either. This is a situation that Mountaineer Nation might be intentionally in the dark about until the trainers and staff know all the facts of WVU Athletics. Assuming he cannot play in even the upcoming game against Houston, his replacement becomes a little trickier.

Both possible backups are productive and effective, which is certainly a refreshing bit of knowledge with Burks being uncertain moving forward. Keyshawn Cobb is listed as the backup for Aubrey’s safety position, though senior Marcis Floyd could slide over from his backup role behind Anthony Wilson with his productive run in the TCU and TTU games, with three tackles in each and a sack in the Tech game.

Photo Credit: AP News

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Benjamin Gilbert
Benjamin Gilbert here - panhandle resident and enjoyer of Pitt losses. First and foremost, I am a lifelong West Virginia Mountaineer fan and do my best to inspire that passion in my beautiful wife and talented kids. Unfortunately, fandom doesn't always pay the bills. I have been writing for a decade and a half for various professions and multi-faceted franchises, so writing is what I do. Combining my skills with my passion for the WVU teams, I always seek to provide fair and honest takes on our path to finding the top of college athletics. Let's Go.