Renner Battling Injury, Adversity

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Despite suffering an apparent left ankle injury in the fourth quarter of North Carolina's 55-31 loss to East Carolina, quarterback Bryn Renner expects to play against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

With ECU leading 48-31 with 7:22 to play and UNC facing a 1st-and-10 from its 49-yard line, Pirates defensive end Terrel Stanley stunted to the inside and sacked Renner for a 12-yard loss. Renner immediately rolled over and grabbed his left ankle.

Renner finished out the game, but arrived at Monday's press conference wearing a walking boot on his left foot. He declined to disclose the injury or how it happened, but did offer one critical piece of information.

"I plan on playing on Saturday," Renner said.

Head coach Larry Fedora's policy is to not discuss injuries. Offensive coordinator Blake Anderson touched on the topic on Tuesday, however, when asked about Renner hobbling at the end of Saturday's and how that could affect the offense this week.

"We don't ask him to do a whole lot in terms of his mobility," Anderson said. "We keep it very limited. But any time you've got a guy that is hobbled, it's going to affect you. So yeah, it will be a concern. I think he'll be fine. He got banged up pretty good. He got hit a couple of times, but he made it through. He's a little sore right now, but he'll be fine come Saturday."

Renner was limited during Tuesday's practice.

Renner's injury represents another challenge in a season that's been full of them. The fifth-year senior is completing 59.9 percent of his passes (91-of-152) for 1,117 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Those statistics equate to a 132.8 passer efficiency rating, which represents a significant drop from Renner's 150.8 rating in 2012.

"I think he's a perfectionist," Anderson said, "and he would tell you he doesn't think he's playing well right now... He's not happy with how he's playing. He wants to play better."

According to both Fedora and Anderson, the offense's problems run the gamut, from the offensive line on out to the wide receivers.

"I don't want him to carry the entire load," Anderson said of Renner. "It's impossible for him to do that. He needs to just do his job, so we talk about that on a weekly basis. Just get back to what you do and do your job the best you can."

Renner isn't the only quarterback in Saturday's matchup that suffered an injury last weekend. Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas showed up at Monday's press conference wearing a walking boot on his right foot.

Thomas, who has rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns this season, told reporters he sprained his foot against Georgia Tech but expects to play on Saturday.


Terrel Stanley's fourth-quarter sack of Bryn Renner (courtesy ACC Network)

 

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