Miami Hurricanes starting quarterback Jarren Williams is injured, the University of Miami confirmed in a statement Tuesday, increasing the possibility of backup N’Kosi Perry starting Friday night against No. 20 Virginia.
“Jarren Williams took limited reps in practice today with an upper extremity injury. He’s day-to-day,’’ UM sent out in a text message to beat writers.
The injury is believed to be to the throwing arm/shoulder of the right-handed Williams, who threw three interceptions in the first quarter of UM’s loss Saturday to Virgina Tech, and was replaced by Perry.
Perry, a redshirt sophomore who started six games last season, subsequently completed 28 of 47 passes for four touchdowns and a career-high 422 yards, with one interception. During the media viewing of Tuesday’s practice, Perry took snaps along with former quarterback Tate Martell, who was converted to a receiver after he lost the quarterback race in fall camp.
Williams, a redshirt freshman, was sidelined and working individually with a trainer Tuesday during the first part of the 20-minute viewing period of practice. Williams then exited the main part of the Carol Soffer Indoor Practice Facility, where the Canes practiced because of heavy rain, and entered the weight room.
Martell wore the white jersey that offensive players wore during practice, as opposed to the orange jerseys the other quarterbacks wore.
Canes tailback DeeJay Dallas, who scored a 62-yard touchdown that tied the Virginia Tech game in the fourth quarter and plunged for an impressive two-point conversion earlier in the game, was asked Tuesday what was it like seeing Perry play such a big role Saturday.
“But you knew he could do it though, right?’’ Dallas answered. “Kosi is a baller, gamer. I knew he could do it, from when he stepped in. I’m proud of him.’’
Added Dallas of Williams and Perry: “They come in working. That’s all they know, to work. Regardless of who’s the starter, or who’s this, who’s that, they both worked. And that’s what we know.”
Fifth-year senior K.J. Osborn said each of UM’s quarterbacks “take command of that huddle. They’re the quarterback.”
“When they’re QB1, they all come in there with that confidence calling play calls,’’ Osborn said of Williams and Perry. “What I’ve really seen with Kosi on the sideline was his leadership. I’ve seen him talking to guys, even when we’re down 21-0, 28-0, he got in there. He was so positive on the sideline, telling guys, ‘We got it. Keep your head up. We’re going to be fine.’ All positive words. I really noticed that on the sideline. That made me feel confident.”
The quarterback situation has been in question since Virginia Tech. Coach Manny Diaz and offensive coordinator Dan Enos indicated Monday that they would be closely studying how Williams responded to being pulled in the first quarter Saturday.
During the ESPN broadcast of UM’s loss, ESPN reported that Williams had told them the week heading into the game that he had a sore right shoulder/arm. Williams entered the locker room some time after he was pulled Saturday and later returned, but did not play. He could be seen on the sideline making windmill motions with his right, throwing arm.
On Monday, during the weekly UM news conference, the Miami Herald asked offensive coordinator Dan Enos how Williams’ arm was doing, in light of the ESPN report, and Enos said he couldn’t talk about that.
“I can’t comment too much about the injury standpoint factor,’’ Enos said.
Diaz indicated Monday that Williams would go into the week as the starter, but left the door open for Perry to get the start should Williams falter.
As for Martell, who transferred to UM this year from Ohio State, he has played in four games and has run twice for 3 yards and not attempted any throws.
“Tate’s a football player, first. I told him that,’’ Dallas said. “And he knows that. Tate is the type of dude that’ll play anything. And that’s the type of dude that you want on your team, right? So, he’s taking it in stride. That’s what a football player does. Like I told y’all, I’m not just a running back. I’m an athlete, a football player. And that’s what we all are. We can play whatever they want us to play, we’ll play it.”
The Hurricanes (2-3, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) kick off against the Cavaliers (4-1, 2-0 ) at 8 p.m. Friday in another nationally televised game at Hard Rock Stadium.
▪ True freshman right guard Jakai Clark, who limped off the field one play late in the third quarter Saturday, was back practicing Tuesday with the first-team offensive line.