LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has announced that senior wide receiver DeVante Parker will miss six to eight weeks with a broken left small toe, leaving the Cardinals without their top target for Monday night's season opener against Miami.
Parker injured the foot in Friday night's practice and was examined Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, by orthopedist Bob Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist. Petrino said that Parker was scheduled to have surgery on Monday afternoon.
"We'll certainly miss him, but we'll have to find a way to continue to improve and move the ball," Petrino said of Parker during his weekly news conference on Monday.
Parker's injury deals a big blow to Louisville's offense as it enters the Atlantic Coast Conference against a Hurricanes squad it throttled 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December. The Louisville native had nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown against Miami en route to a team-high 885 yards and 12 TDs.
While the Cardinals must do without their speedy deep threat, Petrino noted they have plenty of experienced receivers to contribute in his absence.
Besides reliable senior Eli Rogers, who finished third with 44 receptions for 536 yards, Louisville returns speedy senior Kai De La Cruz and tight end Gerald Christian (28 catches, 426 yards, 4 TDs). The Cardinals also have seniors Michaelee Harris and Matt Milton and promising sophomore James Quick.
Petrino said that all of them must contribute with Parker out for a while and with Louisville breaking new sophomore QB Will Gardner.
"We're fortunate that we have a lot of experienced players," Petrino added. "You're never going to replace a guy like Devante with just one guy. You've got to do it collectively with all the weapons that we have, stepping up and making more plays."