Louisville football depleted for Virginia game

Louisville football will be out a multitude of key players on Saturday afternoon.

It’s another dark and gloomy day for Louisville football on a day where there was reason for excitement after the program had to pause team activities due to Covid protocols. That all changed in a flash Saturday afternoon.

The University of Louisville announced that the football program would be without the following players for their game against Virginia:

That is less than ideal for the Cardinals. There is no word on whether these unavailable players are all due to Covid protocols. Running back Hassan Hall is the only player who has had a known injury in recent weeks.

This game is going to become enormously difficult to win with Louisville’s top two running backs and their top receiver all out.

In addition, Diaby and Peterson have been the consistent starters at defensive end for the Cards while Chandler Jones has been playing very well as the second cornerback to Kei’Trel Clark.

Louisville did compete against Virginia Tech a couple of weeks ago without a bunch of defensive players. However, in this game, Louisville is missing major keys to the offense and defense.

We can expect to see a lot of Maurice Burkley in this game who has showed some nice things in flashes. But, the reality is that having no Hall or Hawkins available is brutal. Atwell has been Louisville’s best (and most consistent) receiver over the course of the last two seasons.

Earlier in the week, I wrote that Louisville fans should have low expectations for this Virginia game and future games this year as the team deals with Covid. That point should be punctuated today as the roster is in shambles with these losses.

If Louisville puts up a fight in this one, fans should be happy. It’s not been a fair year for anyone in college athletics. But, the Cardinals have been hit very hard in the past two games. They will need to show a tremendous amount of resiliency and perhaps a couple of lucky bounces to win this game.

Now, Louisville goes into a game this weekend against Virginia without five of their most important starters on the team.

Louisville does get linebacker Monty Montgomery and safety Isaiah Hayes back after they were not available a couple of weeks ago against Virginia Tech. Defensive linemen Ja’Darien Boykin and Malik Clark are also available.

That is the extent of the good news for the Cards as we approach game time today.

Louisville loses 823 yards and eight total touchdowns of production from Javian Hawkins for today. The loss of Tutu is a 528-yard and five touchdown blow.

For those keeping track at home, that is 13 touchdowns out of the 27 the offense has scored not on the field today for Louisville. We will see how the Cardinals fare today.