Injured Wolfpack QB Mitchell closer to return

jgiglio@newsobserver.comSeptember 30, 2013 

N.C. State, NC State, football, ACC, La Tech, Louisana Tech, Doe

N.C. State quarterback Brandon Mitchell (8) heads back onto the field with a walking boot on his left foot.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

N.C. State quarterback Brandon Mitchell is a step closer to getting back on the football field.

Mitchell, who broke a bone in his left foot in the season-opener and has missed the past three games, is out of the walking boot and off crutches, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said Monday.

Mitchell won’t play against Wake Forest on Saturday but there’s a chance he could be back as soon as N.C. State’s game with Syracuse on Oct. 12, according to Doeren.

“He got good news,” Doeren said. “His last x-ray showed a lot of healing.”

Mitchell, a graduate transfer from Arkansas, won the quarterback job in August and led the Wolfpack offense to a pair of scoring drives on the first two series of the season against Louisiana Tech on Aug. 31. On the third drive of the game, he broke a bone in his left foot and had surgery the next day.

He had been in a walking boot and on crutches until this weekend. Doeren said the next step is to get Mitchell back on the practice field.

“This is a big week for him,” Doeren said. “When they tell me he can practice, he’ll start practicing.

“There’s hope for next week and we’ll see where it is.”

N.C. State has its second open date between the Syracuse game on Oct. 12 and the road trip to Florida State on Oct. 26. Doeren said there’s no plan to hold Mitchell out any longer than necessary.

“For him, he needs to play football,” Doeren said. “He’s played 5 minutes of football, he needs reps.”

Mitchell completed 3 of 3 passes for 93 yards and ran five times for 19 yards in his limited action this season. On the first drive of the season, he took the Wolfpack offense 65 yards on seven plays, in 2 minutes and 33 seconds, for a touchdown. The second scoring drive was longer but quicker, 75 yards on five plays in 1:45.

Junior Pete Thomas relieved Mitchell in the opener and has started the past three games. He has thrown for 906 yards in four games, and the Wolfpack is 3-1, but Thomas has thrown five interceptions and one touchdown.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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