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Virginia Tech injury updates on Williams, Coles and Rivers

Be sure to check out my notebook in tomorrow's paper, in which I'll have some news and notes on wide receiver Jarrett Boykin and backup quarterback Logan Thomas. But I wanted to get you a few updates on some injuries that I won't be able to fit in the story.

On Monday, Coach Frank Beamer provided his most optimistic prognosis concerning the injured right hamstring of running back Ryan Williams. Beamer said the running back was "closer" to appearing in a game again, but that the coaching staff wanted to ensure he was 100 percent before playing him. Williams has not appeared in the lineup since a Sept. 18 win over East Carolina.

“Those hamstrings, sometimes they clear up right away and sometimes they take awhile and I don’t think there’s just a definite on those things," he said, adding that an official decision for this week's game won't be made until Thursday. "For a running back who’s cutting like he is, changing directions and so forth, that hamstring has gotta be well.”

I watched Williams run sprints at the end of practice Monday, and to me, he still looked to be favoring his right leg slightly. He was also in a blue jersey, meaning he was limited during the practice. My guess is he sits out a fourth-consecutive game this weekend.

*Speaking of Monday's practice, wide receiver D.J. Coles suffered what Virginia Tech officials believe is a sprained PCL in his right knee during the session. The sophomore will get an MRI exam Wednesday to confirm the diagnosis, but the team expects him to miss four to six weeks.

Coles had played in all six games this year, primarily on special teams. But he'd seen his role on offense increase in recent weeks as he had three catches for 27 yards in the past two games. I thought he played particularly well in the victory against North Carolina State two weeks ago. It sounds like we might not see Coles again until the end of November or maybe even bowl season.

*On "Tech Talk Live," Virginia Tech's weekly radio show, defensive coordinator Bud Foster did not sound at all optimisitic about getting senior linebacker Barquell Rivers back this season. Foster said Rivers, who is recovering from a torn quad he suffered last March, had a setback last week when he felt some soreness in the injured area after increasing his practice reps.

Coach Frank Beamer said Tuesday that even though Rivers has already used his redshirt year and hadn't been injured before, the Hokies are going to explore whether he's eligible for a medical redshirt. Rivers had 96 tackles in 2009

"He's out there with the scout team trying to get that thing back," Beamer said. "I'm not going to give up on it until it just can't be done, but I'm pulling for him to get back and be the same Barquell he was. Hopefully that's going to be the case."

By Mark Giannotto  | October 12, 2010; 5:26 PM ET
 
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