PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Make it six Pitt players lost to season-ending injuries.
On Thursday, Pitt announced running back Ray Graham (knee), wide receiver Cam Saddler (sternum) and offensive lineman Matt Rotheram (ankle) are all done for the season because of injuries sustained in the Panthers’ 35-20 win against UConn Wednesday night at Heinz Field.
Graham, the Big East’s leading rusher, hurt his right knee on his second carry of the game. He’ll have surgery to repair the knee and finishes the year with 958 rushing yards on 164 carries (5.8 avg.) and nine touchdowns.
Saddler fractured his sternum against the Huskies on a 40-yard catch-and-run in which he nearly found the endzone, putting the Panthers inside the 5-yard line to eventually score and go ahead, 21-3. Saddler remained on the ground after the catch for a few seconds before being helped up and running off the field.
Saddler finishes his junior season playing in all eight games, starting seven, and had 19 catches for 207 yards (10.9 avg.) and a TD.
Rotheram will have surgery on his ankle. He played in all eight games this season and started one at both guard and tackle.
“We are incredibly disappointed for these three young men,” Pitt head coach Todd Graham said in a statement. “They have put so much work into our program and it’s heartbreaking to see their seasons end prematurely. Even from the sidelines, I know they are going to remain important leaders who will continue to make an impact as we strive to reach our goal of a Big East championship.
“I know each will attack their rehabilitation programs with incredible commitment and be back better than ever for next season. That’s the type of people and competitors they are and we’re proud that they are Panthers.”
Graham, Saddler and Rotheram join offensive lineman Chris Jacobson, cornerback Jason Hendricks and wide receiver Salath Williams as others with season-ending injuries. Of the six, all but Williams served a starting role for the Panthers.
Five of these players — Hendricks, Williams, Graham, Saddler and Rotheram — were lost for the season this week.