NC State

NC State football’s injury list grows again as 5 expected starters are out until 2020

Dave Doeren doesn’t have a copy of the depth chart with the lineup he expected to have going into this season. He doesn’t need one.

It doesn’t look anything like the lineup N.C. State had in a 45-24 loss at Boston College this past Saturday.

“I know what we’re missing,” Doeren said on Monday.

The Wolfpack (4-3, 1-2 ACC) was missing 12 injured players, four who had already been ruled out for the season, against the Eagles.

Doeren added three more players to the “out for the season” list on Monday. Right tackle Justin Witt, cornerback Chris Ingram and cornerback Teshaun Smith didn’t play against BC and will miss the rest of the season, Doeren said.

That means neither of the offensive tackles Doeren had planned to rely on this season are healthy and five expected starters are out until 2020.

There has been a flood of injuries at cornerback. Senior captain Nick McCloud missed his sixth straight game with a knee injury this past Saturday. Doeren is still hoping to get McCloud back this season but McCloud does have a redshirt season available.

N.C. State has an open date before a trip to Wake Forest on Nov. 2, so Doeren has some time to figure out some new lineup combinations.

Among the problems in the BC loss, it wasn’t just the number of injury fill-ins but the lack of any opportunity to practice together before the game.

“The continuity aspect of football is so big,” Doeren said. ”Being able to learn from your mistakes and how to play with your teammates, that takes time.”

A rundown of N.C. State’s injuries:

Out for the season

LT Tyrone Riley: Fifth-year senior suffered a foot injury during the second practice of the season and has not played at all.

RT Justin Witt: One of two returning starters on the offensive line, a shoulder injury in the loss at Florida State on Sept. 28 cost him the past two games and he will be about the next five.

WR C.J. Riley: Big-play receiver is the fastest player in the program. He injured his left knee on special teams in the first quarter of the season-opening win over ECU on Aug. 31.

TE Dylan Autenrieth: Perhaps the most important blocker in the run game, the junior captain injured his knee in the loss at West Virginia on Sept. 14.

CB Taiyon Palmer: One of McCloud’s backups, the redshirt freshman suffered a knee injury at FSU.

CB Chris Ingram: The junior started each of the first six games, then hurt his right knee late in the second quarter of the win over Syracuse on Oct. 10.

CB Teshaun Smith: The redshirt freshman started two games for McCloud and then missed the Ball State game on Sept. 21. He returned for two games but suffered a shoulder injury against Syracuse and is out for the season.

Out for the BC game

CB Nick McCloud: Injured his left knee in the ECU win in the opener and hasn’t been able to play since. A team captain and the emotional leader of the defense.

DE James Smith-Williams: The senior captain missed the West Virginia and Ball State games with an ankle injury and then came back for two games before he missed the BC loss. He is expected to be back for the Wake Forest game.

DT Val Martin: The junior-college transfer has started three games (ECU, West Virginia, Ball State) but has missed two games (Western Carolina, BC) with an ankle injury. He is expected to be able to play against Wake Forest.

RB Ricky Person: The sophomore had to be carted off the field in the third quarter of the FSU game with an injury to his left ankle. Doeren is hopeful that Person will be able to return later this season.

WR-CB Cecil Powell: The freshman can play either side of the ball but had carved out a role at receiver until a hamstring injury at FSU. He has missed the past two games but is expected to be back for the next game.

Joe Giglio has worked at The N&O since 1995 and has regularly reported on the ACC since 2005. He grew up in Ringwood, N.J. and graduated from N.C. State.
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