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Ray Graham Injury: ESPN Reports Pitt Running Back Likely To Miss Opener Against Youngstown State

Pitt running back is working to get back onto the field for the Panthers, but according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, he likely won't be ready for the Panthers' opener against Youngstown State in a little over a week:

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Pittsburgh starting running back Ray Graham is "unlikely to play" in the Panthers' season opener against Youngstown State on Sept. 1, sources told ESPN.

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Graham, a senior, is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered against Connecticut on Oct. 26 and has been limited in fall drills. Before last year's injury, he was the nation's second-leading rusher, averaging 134.1 yards per game.

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That surely will be a bit of a blow for Pitt, but wasn't entirely unexpected. While it was hoped that he would be back in time for the first game, there was always a chance he wouldn't be ready.

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This could mean that freshman Rushel Shell loses any chance of a redshirt this season if he's the backup. Pitt could rely on Malcolm Crockett and Corey Davis instead of Shell, but Graham's injury means it's more likely that the true freshman gets on the field this season.

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For more on Pitt football, check out SB Nation's Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.