The NC State football team will be without sophomore running back Ricky Person Jr. and starting left tackle Justin Witt for its game against Syracuse on Thursday. Both players were injured in the Wolfpack's most recent game against Florida State two weeks ago.
Doeren also said that redshirt freshman cornerback Taiyon Palmer will be lost for the remainder of the season with a knee injury suffered on a play in which he nearly sacked Seminoles quarterback Alex Hornibrook.
"Ricky Person is out, but not long term," coach Dave Doeren said at his regular weekly press conference Monday. "He'll be back, but won't play this week. Same with Justin Witt. So two guys with injuries who should bounce back, but aren't back yet."
Person suffered what appeared to be a serious injury to his left foot or leg on the opening possession of the second half against the Seminoles. He placed in an air cast and taken from the field on a cart.
The sophomore ranked second on the team in rushing at the time of his injury with 176 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries. His loss is softened by the fact that State still has two other productive backs in its stable of talented young ballcarriers.
True freshman Zonovan "Bam" Knight had rushed for 293 yards and three touchdowns in his first five college games while classmate Jordan Houston has gained 254 yards while averaging 7.1 yards per carry.
Doeren said their roles, along with that of redshirt freshman Trent Pennix, will increase while Person is out.
"I'm looking forward to seeing them take advantage of that," the coach said.
Doeren said he's equally as comfortable with the situation at left tackle, even though Witt will be replace by a true freshman making his first career start.
Icky Ekwonu (6-foot-4, 308 pounds) has averaged better than 30 snaps per game as a top backup and played the majority of the game in Tallahassee after Witt went down with an injury that has yet to be disclosed.
"I think he's ready. He's played well," Doeren said of Ekwonu. "He's been very physical. He's played in every game, so I'm excited for him. I think he's going to do a great job."
Starting left tackle Emanuel McGirt will move from left tackle to the right side while and could slide back over to his usual position when another backup, sophomore Bryson Speas, is in the game.