According to Mike Casazza of the Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia freshman linebacker Brendan Ferns sustained a knee injury during Monday’s practice.
WVU freshman LB Brendan Ferns hurt a knee in practice Monday. Team awaiting results of MRI. Law of averages says this can’t keep happening.
— Mike Casazza (@mikecasazza) August 16, 2016
While there’s been nothing official yet regarding the severity of the injury, early indications are not looking good. Ferns was a four-star recruit out of St. Clairesville, Ohio, and a U.S. Army All American last year. Per Rivals, he was the Mountaineers’ highest-rated recruit coming into the 2016 season. Chase Anderson of EerSports had reported that Ferns was one of only a few freshman that head coach Dana Holgorsen wasn’t planning to redshirt.
The season is still a few weeks away, but West Virginia’s defense has already been rocked by injuries. Defensive end Xavier Pegues figures to be sidelined until late October thanks to offseason shoulder surgery, while nose tackle Jaleel Fields and safety Dravon Askew-Henry have each gone down with season-ending knee injuries.
The Mountaineers are coming off of an 8-5 campaign that was capped by a wild 43-42 win over Arizona State in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl. There were already plenty of questions regarding their inexperienced defense heading into the upcoming season, and these mounting injuries to key players won’t alleviate those concerns. West Virginia’s hopes in the top-heavy Big 12 will have to rely even more on their veteran offense, which is returning eight starters from a season ago.