Utah linebacker Gionni Paul expected to miss 5 to 6 months with broken foot
Published: April 23, 2014 11:35AM
Updated: April 11, 2014 04:56PM
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Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Utah linebacker Gionni Paul after a practice at Spence and Cleone Eccles Football Center Thursday March 20, 2014.

Utah junior linebacker Gionni Paul, voted a team captain for spring, is expected to miss about 5 to 6 months with a broken foot.

Paul underwent surgery Thursday. Head coach Kyle Whittingham’s timetable indicates Paul is likely to miss the start of the 2014 season.

A 5-foot-10, 227-pound transfer from Miami who sat out last season while redshirting, Paul was expected to bolster a linebacker corps that includes juniors Jared Norris and Jason Whittingham and senior Jacoby Hale. But Hale tore his ACL this spring and Whittingham is out for spring while rehabbing an injury, and suddenly one of Utah’s apparent strengths is looking like an unknown.

“That really hurts,” Whittingham said Thursday, adding that it prompted a move from sophomore running back Marcus Sanders-Williams to linebacker.

Paul’s injury came Tuesday on a collision with junior defensive tackle Daniel Nielsen and junior running back Devontae Booker. Paul hopped on one foot from one sideline to the other.

“It wasn’t anything out of the ordinary,” Whittingham said Thursday. “He didn’t get it caught underneath the pile or anything like that. He was just pushing off, an unfortunate situation, and it snapped.”

(The Tribune profiled Paul earlier this spring. Read here.)

— Matthew Piper

mpiper@sltrib.com

Twitter: @matthew_piper