The Pitt football team suffered another serious blow when fifth-year senior strong-side linebacker Adam Gunn was lost indefinitely — possibly for the season — with what Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt called a “small fracture” of a vertebrae.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Gunn, a Kiski Area High School graduate, was injured in the third quarter of Pitt’s 27-17 loss to Bowling Green in the season opener last Saturday at Heinz Field in a helmet-to-helmet collision with middle linebacker Scott McKillop.
It was originally believed to be a concussion, but a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed the neck injury. Wannstedt refused to rule out Gunn for the season but conceded that it was possible.
“He was one of our leaders,” Wannstedt said of Gunn, a two-time Big East all-academic football team selection who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication and rhetoric and is enrolled in Pitt’s graduate school of public and international affairs. “He was as good of a leader and role model off the field as he was a player on the field.
“Adam’s a heck of a guy and a heck of a player. Hopefully, we’ll get him back before the year is out.”
Gunn was in his second season as a starter after finishing third on the team in tackles with 59 last season. He had four tackles (two solo), forced a fumble and had a quarterback hurry against Bowling Green.
Redshirt freshman Greg Williams is expected to replace Gunn in the starting lineup, although Wannstedt said redshirt sophomore Nate Nix and redshirt freshman Brandon Lindsey also could see playing time.