Current Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 18:38:49 -0400
A day after announcing that he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury against N.C. State, senior quarterback Bryn Renner had successful surgery to repair a detached labrum and fractured scapula Wednesday afternoon.
When news of Renner’s North Carolina career-ending injury and impending surgery broke, word spread quickly through the team.
Many of Renner’s teammates tweeted their support and reached out to him via text message. But since his injury was announced, coach Larry Fedora hasn’t addressed the team, opting instead to keep his team laser-focused on Saturday’s game against Virginia.
“We really, as a team, we never talk about injuries,” Fedora said. “In the position rooms the coaches talk about it and who needs to step up and what they have to do. But as a team, I don’t have a team meeting to say, ‘So-and-so got hurt, somebody’s really going to have to step up.’
“The guys know. That’s part of this game, that somebody, you’re an ankle away from being the guy.”
Senior defensive end Kareem Martin found out about Renner’s injury and surgery via Twitter, and said that many of his teammates found out through word of mouth.
“‘TarHeelFootball,’ our in-house Twitter, posted something and I was like, ‘Oh man.’ So I texted him and found out everything from him,” he said.
Though Martin said it’s difficult to lose Renner, he echoed Fedora’s sentiment that it’s time to move past the injury.
“Being a starting quarterback is something you can’t replace, and everyone has full confidence in Marquise (Williams),” Martin said.
In addition to taking over the starting job, Williams will also step into the mentor role for freshman quarterback Kanler Coker.
“I’m going to do what Bryn did to me,” Williams said Tuesday. “I’m going to do for him because now, I’m going to have to encourage him to play hard and take the game more serious because you know, it’s tough when you’re playing backup but you’ve got to take it seriously.”
Fedora hasn’t determined how much game action Coker will see, but he anticipates integrating him into the game plan.
“Let’s put it out there that I’m going to give Coker 50 percent of the reps,” Fedora said jokingly. “We are preparing him to play, but we have not gotten down to the details on how we’re going to implement him.”
Despite the injury to Renner, Fedora doesn’t want to let the situation disrupt his game plan.
“That’s something else we’ve talked about, whether or not we will I don’t know yet,” said Fedora about eliminating designed runs for Williams. “We’re not going to play scared, we’re going to play to win.”