MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia will welcome linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski back to the lineup in Saturday's noon home game against Texas Tech, but the defense will be without a few other players for a while.
Mountaineers Coach Dana Holgorsen said at his weekly press conference Tuesday backup nose guard Christian Brown is out for the season and backup spur linebacker and former Bridgeport High School star Wes Tonkery is out six weeks with a broken thumb.
Safety Ricky Rumph, who plays in pass defense packages against teams that use a lot of receivers -- like No. 16 Texas Tech -- suffered a foot injury in WVU's last game and is doubtful Saturday.
Brown, a second-year sophomore from Miami, suffered what Holgorsen called a "weight room injury" weeks ago. He missed the past two games, and Holgorsen said WVU will seek a medical redshirt because Brown was hurt in the first half of the season and WVU can document the injury is incapacitating.
Those are two of the guidelines spelled out by NCAA Bylaw 14;2;4 that covers hardship waivers. The third is trickier, but still on Brown's side.
According to WVU's participation statistics, Brown played in the first four games of the season. The bylaw reads that the injury that would allow for a medical redshirt must happen "when the student-athlete has not participated in more than three contests or dates of competition (whichever is applicable to that sport) or 30 percent (whichever number is greater) of the institution's scheduled or completed contests or dates of competition in his or her sport."
Thirty percent of 12 games is 3.6 games, but the NCAA allows a school to round up, which puts Brown at the maximum number of games allowed for a redshirt.
Kwiatkoski started the first four games and was the team's leading tackler, but he pulled a hamstring against Maryland and missed the win against Oklahoma State. He played, albeit not much, against Baylor. Holgorsen said Kwiatkoski didn't practice last week, but returned to practice Monday.
He's listed as a backup behind Jared Barber at Will linebacker. Barber moved following the Kwiatkoski injury. He'd been rotating with Doug Rigg at Sam linebacker.
"(Nick) makes us better defensively," Holgorsen said. "Jared's a solid guy, much like Doug Rigg is. They're both program guys who are solid and are going to try hard to be in the right position, but Nick's a guy who's made some more dynamic plays. If he's healthy, he'll be a starter."
Holgorsen was less clear about receiver Ivan McCartney, who' has started four games, but suffered a concussion against Oklahoma State and missed the Baylor game.
"I don't know what's going on there or if he's cleared to go or not," Holgorsen said. "I don't get into the whole head thing with concussions."
Perhaps to compensate, WVU moved Mario Alford from inside receiver to outside receiver. He backs up fellow junior college transfer Ronald Carswell.