CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -Virginia coach Al Groh stopped short of saying tailback Cedric Peerman would miss the remainder of the season because of a foot injury, but gave no indication a return is likely.
Peerman was leading the Atlantic Coast Conference in rushing after five games, but an injury to his right foot early in the sixth game has sidelined him since.
Last week, Peerman watched on crutches as No. 23 Virginia beat Wake Forest 17-16, and Groh said he won't play Saturday night when the Cavaliers visit Miami.
``We don't know that officially yet, but obviously there's only two games left, and he's not going to play in this one,'' Groh said Tuesday.
Groh said it would not be ``going out on a limb'' to say it was possible Peerman would not play again.
Virginia needs only to beat Virginia Tech in Charlottesville on Nov. 24 to advance to the ACC championship game Dec. 1.
Ever elusive when talking about injuries, Groh made it sound as though it has not yet been decided if, or when, the junior will have foot surgery or if it'd be possible for Peerman to play in a bowl game.
``It would probably depend upon what the final course of action is and that's not something that I have any input in,'' Groh said. ``I just wait to hear what the determination is.''
Through five games, Peerman had 566 yards rushing and five touchdowns. In his absence, Virginia has had three different leading rushers.
Mikell Simpson has emerged as the team's top runner. He gained 119 yards against Maryland and 81 against N.C. State.
Before Peerman got hurt, Simpson had carried only twice.
Also Tuesday, defensive end Chris Long was named a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award given to the nation's top lineman. The other semifinalists are defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey of LSU, linebacker James Laurinaitis of Ohio State and offensive tackle Jake Long of Michigan.
``It's just such an honor,'' Chris Long said. ``I have a lot of respect for the game and the other guys who play the game. I'm just humbled by it.
``I know all those guys, so that's gonna be really cool to hang out with them ... but right now, we've got to put that on the backburner and play football.''
The winner will be announced on Dec. 5.
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