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October 24, 2013

Pitt gets two back, loses two

Pitt will get two of its offensive playmakers back but will be without two of its players in the trenches indefinitely, head coach Paul Chryst announced Thursday.

Redshirt senior offensive lineman Cory King (back) and redshirt sophomore defensive end Ejuan Price (back) will be out indefinitely.

King missed Pitt's 35-24 win over Old Dominion at Heinz Field and was replaced by redshirt senior Ryan Schlieper, who will start again at left guard at Navy on Saturday. Chryst said that King doesn't have a target date to return.

"We're kind of waiting to see; he's making some progress but that will be a little bit."

Price started the last four games at defensive end. For the Duke, Virginia and Virginia Tech games, he started in place of redshirt junior Bryan Murphy; in the Old Dominion game, he started opposite Murphy in place of redshirt junior David Durham.

Price's return is also uncertain.

"He'll be out for a bit here," Chryst said of Price. "We don't know exactly but it will be a couple weeks, at least, probably more."

Chryst added that he wasn't sure when Price suffered the injury.

"He finished the game and there was nothing there. He just was kind of complaining a little bit. I don't think it was a specific moment or anything like that. Which is too bad; I thought he was really starting to get into a good groove."

In the last three games, Price recorded 15 tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack. His absence will mean Durham and Murphy start at end, and freshman Shakir Soto - who played in the first five games and recorded a career-high four tackles against Virginia - will likely see more playing time.

While the loss of Price hurts the defense, the offense will get two of its top playmakers back in redshirt senior receiver Devin Street and freshman running back James Conner. Both players missed the Old Dominion game with shoulder injuries.

Conner rushed for 354 yards and four touchdowns in the first five games. Street has made 26 receptions in five games for a team-high 549 yards and three touchdowns.

"He has practiced, and we'll see how he holds up through the game," Chryst said of Street. "But we're definitely a better offense with Devin."




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