If you were following along this morning, you caught rumblings that preseason All-ACC tackle Blake DeChristopher suffered a pectoral injury. At the time the extent of the damage or how long he'd be out for was unknown. Later in the morning BeamerBall.com noted DeChristopher would be out two weeks and left guard Greg Nosal isn't 100% ready to practice, still recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery.
HokieSports released an update this afternoon stating DeChristopher would be out 4-6 weeks.
I don't want to speculate on the reason for the confusion between two sites that should be on the same page, but it seems like the injury is a little more severe than was thought before noon.
If the offensive line is going to be successful this season they need DeChristopher and Nosal healthy. DeChristopher has 37 career starts, 22 in a row, and is referred to as "the leader of a veteran line", in the media guide. Nosal started every game last year, over 800 snaps in his career, including one with a nub for a pinky finger. In my opinion these are our toughest and best two offensive linemen.
David Wang is Nosal's backup, and I feel good about him playing right away. He knows the system, is strong, has a low center of gravity, and was named the most improved offensive player during spring practice. However, I'm not sold on any of the guys who may replace DeChristopher. Vinston Painter is a champion of the weight room, but hasn't transitioned his massive size and strength onto the field. Michael Via did a better than expected job in 2009 with three starts at center, but I haven't seen enough of him at tackle. Nick Becton could flip over from left to right tackle, but he didn't look impress me last season or during spring.
I'm sure we'll hear and know more about these injuries once practice starts on Thursday. On the bright side, at least time and depth is on our side.