Ray Graham Injury Update: Pitt Star Unlikely For Opener

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Ray Graham #1 of the Pittsburgh Panthers celebrates his rushing touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the game on September 29, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Ray Graham is unlikely to play in Pitt's opener against Youngstown State.

Pittsburgh running back Ray Graham is unlikely to play in the school's season opener against Youngstown State on Sept. 1, according to a report by ESPN. Citing sources close to the situation, the report states that the senior running back is still recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee and has been limited in fall drills.

If Graham is unable to play, sophmore Isaac Bennett is expected to start with freshman Rushel Shell acting as back-up. Prior to sustaining the injury, Graham was the nation's second leading rusher and was a key member of Pitt's offensive attack.

Here's what SB Nation's Bill Connelly wrote about the back while previewing Pitt earlier this offseason:

1. The Panthers are deep at running back. Assuming Ray Graham is 100 percent healthy this fall (he was lost to a knee injury in the eighth game of the season), Pitt returns a back with serious workhorse potential. Graham averaged 25 carries per game over the first six contests last season and owns seven career 100-yard games and a career Adj. POE of plus-23.5 (meaning he has been about four touchdowns better than the average back given his carries, blocking and opponents). He has some interesting backups, too; Isaac Bennett managed a respectable minus-0.7 Adj. POE last year as a freshman thrust into service with Graham's injury. Bennett, sophomore Corey Davis and incoming high-four-star signee Rushel Shell should give Pitt interesting options when Graham needs a breather.

You can read the full preview, here.

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