Early injuries end Hendrix and Ziese’s season

Elijah+Zeise+gets+help+walking+off+the+field+after+getting+injured+during+the+Villanova+game.+Jeff+Ahearn+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer

Elijah Zeise gets help walking off the field after getting injured during the Villanova game. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

By Steve Rotstein / Sports Editor

Though Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi said the status of defensive end Dewayne Hendrix and Star linebacker Elijah Zeise’s health was “day-to-day” during the week, he confirmed Saturday after the Panthers’ 42-39 win over Penn State the two key defensive players are out for the season.

Redshirt sophomores Dewayne Hendrix and Elijah Zeise suffered a foot and ankle injury, respectively, in Pitt’s 28-7 season-opening win against Villanova, but Narduzzi did not rule either player out for the game against the Nittany Lions. When Saturday came, neither player suited up.

After sitting out last season as a transfer from the University of Tennessee, Hendrix was expected to make a big impact at defensive end for Pitt in 2016. Instead, he was unable to complete his first game as a Panther and will miss the rest of the season because of an injured foot.

Zeise started the first game of the season at the star linebacker position despite being listed behind former North Allegheny Senior High School teammate Oluwaseun Idowu on the depth chart going into the season.

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Less than five minutes into the game, Zeise suffered a season-ending ankle injury when a Villanova lineman accidentally rolled on top of his legs.

Idowu took over as the starting star linebacker and made six total tackles against Penn State, while junior Rori Blair filled in capably for Hendrix as a starting defensive end by posting a pair of tackles and a sack against the Nittany Lions.