Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Gabe Roberts will have surgery and likely miss the rest of the 2013 season, Pitt head coach Paul Chryst said Thursday.
Roberts missed the entire 2012 season after suffering a shoulder injury in training camp. Chryst said that Roberts' surgery - which he was scheduled to undergo Thursday - will repair a similar injury.
"You want to wait and see (if he's out for the season); that's not for sure…but I think Gabe, I don't anticipate him being back," Chryst said.
With two seasons lost to injury, Roberts should be a candidate for a sixth year of eligibility.
Former Pitt offensive lineman Chris Jacobson also missed his freshman season in 2007 with a training camp injury and then suffered another season-ending injury in the third game of the 2011 season. Jacobson received a waiver for a sixth year of eligibility and played an extra season.
With Roberts sidelined, redshirt junior Shane Johnson was listed as the backup center on this week's depth chart. But Chryst said that Johnson was injured Tuesday, and now he is questionable for the game. If Johnson can't go, then the coaches will have to find an emergency backup for redshirt sophomore Artie Rowell.
Chryst was noncommittal about who that emergency backup might be. Redshirt senior Ryan Schlieper is the most likely candidate.
"We've been working someone," Chryst said. "We're good."
Chryst did have some good news on Pitt's injury front. Redshirt senior linebacker Shane Gordon and redshirt junior defensive end Bryan Murphy are both expected to be on the field for this Saturday's game at Virginia Tech.
Gordon missed the game against Virginia, and freshman Matt Galambos started in his place. Gordon is expected to start the game in Blacksburg, but Galambos will likely rotate in.
Murphy has missed the last two games and was replaced in the starting lineup by redshirt sophomore Ejuan Price.
Chryst also said that redshirt freshman cornerback Trenton Coles is questionable for Saturday's game.
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