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August 21, 2011NC State suffered its second significant injury of the preseason when fifth-year senior defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy, a co-captain and potential All-ACC contender, fractured his foot.
He underwent surgery Sunday and is expected to be out for six weeks. The Pack starts its season Sept. 3 against Liberty. A six-week time frame would put Sweezy's return in early-October.
Sweezy was honorable mention All-ACC last season and had a defensive line-leading 13 tackles for losses and six sacks. Sweezy added 46 total tackles, six quarterback pressures, three pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.
Junior Brian Slay is the most experienced candidate to replace Sweezy in the starting line-up. Slay played in 12 games last season, starting one, and had 24 tackles, including one for a loss. He added five quarterback hurries and recovered a fumble.
Sophomore A.J. Ferguson, who played in three contests last year and had two tackles, and promising redshirt freshman Thomas Teal will be counted on for depth.
Earlier this preseason, projected starting left guard Duran Christophe tore his meniscus in his knee and underwent surgery. Christophe is expected to be back by week two if not for the season opener Sept. 3 against Liberty.
Projected starting cornerback Jarvis Byrd, a redshirt sophomore, will miss the season after tearing his ACL in a 7-on-7 workout over the summer.
NC State expects to get three players back in October. Sophomore running back Mustafa Greene, who ran 134 times for a team-leading 597 yards and four scores last year, is expected back around the same time as Sweezy. Greene had foot surgery in the spring.
Redshirt junior offensive lineman Andrew Wallace, a 12-game starter at left guard last year, is expected back in mid-October after tearing his ACL during bowl practices last December. Redshirt freshman fullback Logan Winkles, also tore his ACL in bowl practices and is expected to return in late October.
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