MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- West Virginia running back Noel Devine isn't expected to miss any practice time this week or next and should play in the Oct. 9 home game against UNLV.
Coach Bill Stewart said Devine, the nation's active leader in career rushing yards, incurred a bone bruise on the big toe on his right foot in Saturday's 20-14 loss at LSU.
"He's got an orthotic (support) to fit him and that's supposed to help take some pressure off," Stewart said. "It's a pretty bad bruise. He came back in and ran tough, man. He was hurting. He was really hurting at halftime."
Devine was injured on WVU's eighth play from scrimmage when he was tackled out of bounds at the end of a 15-yard pass play. He left the game and returned later and finished with 14 carries for 37 yards.
The tackle, for which the Tigers were penalized 15 yards, angered Stewart after the game. Asked what he thought about the play at his weekly press conference Tuesday, Stewart said, "Fifteen-yard penalty that was one of 12 (penalties against LSU)."
Stewart said Devine was fortunate the Mountaineers have an open weekend and the time should allow the senior running back to regain form before WVU plays host to the Rebels (1-3). Stewart said there is a plan in place in case Devine aggravates the injury and needs either a short or extended period of time off.
"I don't think the injury is that severe where we'd have to have an emergency plan, so it'll be just like it was game in the game," Stewart said. "(Fullback) Ryan Clarke would be the backup and then there's Trey Johnson and Shawne Alston.
"Now that being said, if he were to get hurt (in practice) and had to be out a week, now we have 10 or 11 days to get ready and you may see someone back there like a Jock Sanders. At this point, it'll be just what we've done."
* * *
WVU HAD five players on the Big East Conference injury report before the LSU game and Devine would likely be included in some fashion this week.
The time off helps all of those Mountaineers, as well as others, like safety Robert Sands, who hasn't made an injury report, but is dealing with a shoulder injury he chooses not to discuss.
"I'll tell you what my high school coach told me," Sands said. "He said pain is weakness leaving your body."
Middle linebacker Pat Lazear missed the season's first three games with a knee/tibia issue, but played against the Tigers. He was listed as probable. Defensive end Julian Miller was listed as questionable with back spasms and played on pass-rush downs. Tight end Tyler Urban's knee kept him out, though he traveled and was listed as probable. Left guard Josh Jenkins was out four days after an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee.
Stewart expects each to play against the Rebels, but wants them for the following game. WVU plays host to South Florida the following Thursday (Oct. 14).