Monday, September 22, 2008

UNC's Yates out 6 weeks with broken ankle

Quarterback T.J. Yates is out for at least six weeks with a broken bone in his left ankle, UNC coach Butch Davis announced today.

Yates suffered the injury in the second quarter of UNC's 20-17 loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday. The sophomore completed 40 of 66 passes for 623 yards in the first two and a half games. He has six touchdowns, including one on Saturday, and one interception.

Davis said either Mike Paulus or Cam Sexton would start against Miami on Saturday but that decision has not been made yet.

"We'll prepare both Mike Paulus and Cam Sexton," Davis said. "This will be an opportunity for them to step up."

Paulus, a redshirt freshman, relieved Yates on Saturday after the injury. UNC led 10-3 when Yates was hurt on a sack by Virginia Tech defensive end Orion Martin.

According to UNC's injury update, Yates sustained a small non-displaced fracture in his ankle. The injury will not require surgery and his status will be evaluated after six weeks of rehabilitation.

The Heels (2-1) have nine games remaining in the regular season. They play five games in the next six weeks with a bye falling on Yates' possible return date, Nov. 1.

"We feel bad for T.J. but they're not going to cancel the season because our quarterback is hurt," Davis said.

Paulus, the younger brother of Duke point guard Greg Paulus, was just 3 of 8 with two interceptions in his first significant college action against Virginia Tech.

Sexton, a junior, started five games in 2006 for former coach John Bunting. He has yet to take a snap this season.

"I don't think we'll deviate from our offense," Davis said. "We are who we are. We want the quarterback to be efficient but we need him to make some plays. We have confidence that both of those guys can handle that."

– Joe Giglio