Another starter from UNC’s secondary is out indefinitely due to injury

North Carolina sophomore cornerback Trey Morrison is out indefinitely with an upper body injury, UNC announced Monday morning.

Morrison becomes the latest Tar Heel defensive back to go down with a significant injury this season. But it’s possible he could return before the end of the season.

Morrison suffered the injury in the first half of UNC’s win against Georgia Tech on Oct. 5. He did not return to the game. Morrison posted a video on his Instagram story Monday with his arm in a cast and sling.

Morrison, a 5-10, 190-pound cornerback, has been a quality player for the Tar Heels’ secondary the past two years. He’s started in 16 games, including all six this year. He has 18 tackles and three pass breakups. In 2018, he had 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups.

He is the fourth starter in UNC’s secondary to suffer a serious injury.

UNC freshman safety Cam Kelly tore his ACL in UNC’s game against Clemson on Sept. 28. UNC senior cornerback Patrice Rene is also out for the season with a torn ACL he suffered in UNC’s game against Miami on Sept. 7. And UNC junior safety Myles Wolfolk is out indefinitely with a lower body injury. Wolfolk, who leads the Tar Heels with three interceptions this season, has missed the last three games.

“When you lose them all at one position, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on Jay Bateman and Dre Bly,” UNC coach Mack Brown said in a press conference on Monday. “They’ve just got to do a great job of coaching other guys. Everybody says, it’s next man up. It is.”

The Tar Heels (3-3, 2-1 ACC) have six games remaining on their regular season schedule, and are tied for first in the ACC Coastal Division.

In Morrison’s absence, UNC freshman cornerback Storm Duck will step up at the No. 1 cornerback spot. Junior cornerback Greg Ross will move in at the No. 2 cornerback spot. Brown said freshman cornerback Obi Egbuna will also have to step up.

“The next guy has got to go and play,” UNC defensive coordinator Jay Bateman said Monday. “We’ve got depth there. We’re lucky that we’ve got some guys like Greg Ross who has played a lot, who can step in and do a good job.”

Other injury news

UNC senior tight end Carl Tucker is expected to return to practice this week. Tucker, who is 6-2, 248 pounds, has not played since Sept. 28 in the Tar Heels’ game against Clemson. He has 4 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown this season.

UNC senior wide receiver Corey Bell Jr. will be limited in practice this week with an upper body injury.

UNC at Virginia Tech

When: 3: 30 p.m., Saturday

Where: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg

Watch: Fox Sports South

Listen: WTKK-106.1 Raleigh; WCHL-97.9, WCHL-1360 Chapel Hill; WBT-99.3, WBT-1110 Charlotte

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Jonathan M. Alexander has been covering the North Carolina Tar Heels since May 2018. He previously covered Duke basketball and recruiting in the ACC. He is an alumnus of N.C. Central University.
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