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Ras-I Dowling returned to practice Tuesday; status for Eastern Michigan game unclear

Earlier today during his segment of the ACC coaches' teleconference, Virginia Coach Mike London said senior cornerback Ras-I Dowling has not returned to 100 percent, but the player did practice Tuesday and is expected to participate in this afternoon's workout session. London did not provide an update as to Dowling's status for Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan.

Dowling missed the first two games of the season with a hamstring injury and sat out Saturday's 44-10 loss to North Carolina with a knee injury. Cornerbacks Coach Chip West said Tuesday that Dowling "practiced with us quite a bit today."

Sophomore cornerback Devin Wallace has started in Dowling's place and assumed a large role in the Virginia secondary due to Dowling's frequent absences. The Cavaliers gave up 339 passing yards Saturday to the Tar Heels, but are ranked No. 3 in the conference in pass defense, allowing opponents to average 182.3 yards per game through the air this season.

"Anytime you lose a significant player on defense, particularly in the back end of things, it's something that you're concerned about," London said. "But as I said, Devin Wallace has had to step in and play. As much as how we feel about Ras-I, he's one of our captains and him not being able to play, the next guy that steps on the field has got to be able to play and provide us an opportunity to be competitive and win."

By Steve Yanda  | October 20, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
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