Pitt Star Bryant Still Limping
Sep. 24, 2001
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Pittsburgh All-American receiver Antonio Bryant, limited to one play all season, is still hobbling on a sprained left ankle and isn't certain of playing Thursday night against No. 1 Miami.
The Panthers had only a walkthrough drill Monday, so coach Walt Harris didn't get much of a reading whether the ankle was any better.
``No, he's not 100 percent, not yet,'' Harris said. ``He ran pretty well (Sunday) at the start of practice but by the end of practice, he was limping around pretty good.
``Do we expect him to play? We'll have to wait and see. We don't want to put anybody out there that we don't feel is 100 percent. He may say he's 100 percent but, by his own admission, he is not.''
Bryant, chosen as the nation's top receiver last season after leading NCAA Division I-A with a 130.2 yards receiving average, hasn't played since spraining the ankle returning a punt in Pitt's opener Sept. 1 against East Tennessee State. He was hurt even before Pitt went on offense for the first time.
Bryant sat out the following week, and the effect on Pitt's offense was obvious _ the Panthers were upset by Division I-A neophyte South Florida 35-26.
Though it would seem a priority to get Bryant back for Thursday, Harris said he must be cautious because a sprain like Bryant's can linger much of the season if a player keeps reinjuring it or never lets it fully heal.
``We want to make sure we make a wise decision because this kind of injury can be a nagging injury, as it has been,'' Harris said. ``We have a lot of games to play and we need him healthy, playing like we know he can play and the way he's played for us.''