Mason, M. Williams, Schlieper out for the season

Written by Sam Werner on .

I'll have my full Temple breakdown up later today, but just a quick bit of breaking news from Paul Chryst's Monday press conference.

Linebackers Dan Mason and Manny Williams, as well as starting right guard Ryan Schlieper are all expected to miss the rest of the season with various injuries.

Williams suffered an ACL injury against Louisville, and there was initially some hope that he could rehab through it and make it back for the very end of this season. Ultimately, though, he had to have surgery that will end his season and Pitt career. Tough break for a kid who really seemed to be coming on earlier this season. Todd Thomas started the last two games at Williams' 'Will' linebacker spot, and he'll stick there for the rest of the season.

Schlieper got hurt early in the second half against Temple this week and will need to have season-ending foot surgery. He was replaced Saturday by Athur Doakes. Chryst said they'll consider all options this week, but it looks like Doakes will be the guy who gets the start against Notre Dame. Notre Dame's front seven may be the best unit north of Tuscaloosa, and having a first-time starter at right guard will only make things tougher. Fellow linemen Chris Jacobsen and Ryan Turnley said they'd put in some extra hours helping Doakes get up to speed this week.

The most heartbreaking of the injuries is definitely Mason. He'll be out the rest of the year with a lacerated liver. The kid worked his way back from a horrific knee injury that looked like it would end his career, and now will miss the rest of his comeback season. Mason had played very well so far this season, with 27 tackles in just five games. In an sort-of cruel irony, Mason was hurt making an athletic tackle to bring down Temple quarterback Chris Coyer from behind. Chryst said Mason is currently healing normally, and was optimistic that he would be back for spring practice next year.

Chryst wasn't sure yet if Shane Gordon would be back this week. He has missed the last two games with a high ankle sprain. If he's not ready to go, the linebacker position is perilously thin for Pitt. Chryst said Joe Trebitz is back to 100 percent, so he would likely get the start if Gordon can't. Beyond that, though, the Panthers may have to get creative.

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