The Syracuse Orange football program will be without arguably its best player, senior left tackle Justin Pugh, for Saturday's season opener against the Northwestern Wildcats, a source told the Syracuse Post-Standard's Dave Rahme on Monday.
Pugh’s appointment today with renowned shoulder specialist St. James Andrews went very well but that the opener was simply too close to Pugh’s surgery date to take a chance.
The good news is, the source said the recovery of the Big East Conference First-Team selection is going well and now he will be able to "amp" up his rehab work. There still is no timetable for the 6'5, 298-pound lineman's return, but it maybe shorter than the month-long absence that was originally reported.
In his place will be junior Sean Hickey (6'5, 285), who's had a very good training camp.
"The thing (in camp) that shocked me the most it was probably the way Sean Hickey has been playing," Marrone said Saturday. "He has had in the last two years – and that’s fall and spring – 12 practices coming from the major injury he’s had, and he’s had quite a few injuries, and I really feel good about him being injury-free going into this and the way he’s been playing."