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Updating injury status for key ACC players with spring practice nearing

We already know Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire will miss spring practice after breaking his ankle in the bowl game and having surgery. So we thought it would be a good time to check on key players with season-ending injuries in 2015 and their status for the spring.

Boston College

QB Darius Wade, RB Jon Hilliman, TE Mike Giacone

The Eagles struggled on offense last season for several reasons. Season-ending injuries to their most important players certainly did not help. Wade broke his ankle in Week 3. Hilliman broke his foot in Week 4. Giacone also missed the season with a leg injury. The good news is all three are expected back for spring practice. Hilliman will likely be non-contact to start; whether Wade is able to be full-go also has yet to be determined. Boston College is scheduled to open practice the first week of March, and having these guys back is huge.

Clemson

WR Mike Williams, NB Korrin Wiggins

Williams was a preseason All-ACC choice and one of just two returning 1,000-yard receivers. But he broke a bone in his neck in the season opener on a scary play in which he ran into the goal post and missed the rest of the season. Wiggins tore his ACL during fall practice and was out for the year. Both will be limited during spring practice but are expected to be ready to go for the season opener against Auburn.

Duke

CB Bryon Fields

Fields tore his ACL in late August and missed the season after playing in the first 27 games of his Duke career. Without him, the secondary struggled at times, ranking No. 12 in the ACC in pass defense. Fields will also be limited in spring practice, but is expected to return to his starting job in September.

Florida State

RB Mario Pender, DB Trey Marshall

Pender suffered a collapsed lung in September and missed the rest of the season. Marshall injured his biceps against Louisville and also missed the remainder of the season. Though Pender didn't play in another game, he was cleared in November. Florida State opted to hold him out to try to get him a redshirt season. Both should be good to go when spring practice opens.

Pittsburgh

RB James Conner, RB Rachid Ibrahim, OL Jaryd Jones-Smith

Conner injured his MCL in the season opener and missed the rest of the season. But in December, he disclosed he had Hodgkin lymphoma and would begin treatment. Jerry DiPaola reported this week in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Conner has completed four rounds of chemotherapy and the tumors continue to shrink. He won’t participate in spring practice, and has treatments scheduled through May. Conner is targeting a September return. Jones-Smith suffered a serious knee injury last July. Ibrahim tore his Achilles' tendon during last year's fall camp. Both are going through extensive rehab and not expected to be full participants when spring practice opens.

Virginia Tech

RB Shai McKenzie, RB Marshawn Williams

Both players sat out last season while rehabbing knee injuries. Their rehab continues, and their status for spring practice has yet to be determined. Virginia Tech needs them for depth. Travon McMillian is back after rushing for more than 1,000 yards, but J.C. Coleman and Trey Edmunds are gone. Williams and McKenzie showed promise as true freshmen in 2014 before the injuries cut short their seasons.

Wake Forest

WR Jared Crump

Crump was the team’s leading returning receiver, but he tore his ACL in August and missed the season. He won’t participate in contact drills when practice opens March 1, but is expected to return for fall camp.