Morris suffered the injury late September against Savannah State but returned the following week for a showdown at South Florida. The senior quarterback was able to play, but was hobbled after a hit and claimed Bulls players twisted his ankle at the bottom of a pile.
Morris removed himself from the game before halftime, but returned a week later for the ACC opener against Georgia Tech. A 24-23 game midway through the fourth quarter, Miami pulled away late for the 45-30 win, but Morris looked a bit gimpy against the Yellow Jackets and mobility was an issue, most-likely due to a heavily-taped ankle.
Sitting at 5-0 and ranked No. 13 in the nation and preparing or a bye, Miami has the luxury of putting more focus on Morris’ rehab than timing with receivers. Head coach Al Golden touched on it in his weekly press conference.
“Our chief concern with Stephen is just getting him healthy,” Golden said. “We’ve held him out the last two days; we’re being more aggressive in the treatment schedule. He seems to be doing great, making a lot of progress.”
Morris will have 12 days of rest between games and will be back in action by the weekend, most-likely. Miami will turn its attention to North Carolina preparation in the coming days and Morris will be eased back in to the equation.
For the Hurricanes, a quick start against the struggling Tar Heels could earn Morris some more downtime. North Carolina is 1-5 on the season and because of the late-week game, Miami will have another nine-day layoff before Wake Forest heads south the final weekend of October.
While this second month of the season will bring some reprieve, November will be a five-game whirlwind. Miami travels to Florida State (11/2), welcomes Virginia Tech (11/9), treks to Duke (11/16), plays a home finale against Virginia (11/23) and wraps the regular season the Friday after Thanksgiving, at Pitt (11/29).
Outside of Morris, Miami’s bye will also help a handful of other ailing Hurricanes. Wide receiver Rashawn Scott went down late in the opener against Florida Atlantic and has been nursing a shoulder injury since.
Miami is also trying to get two sophomores back in playing shape. Wide receiver Malcolm Lewis is still working his way back from last season’s gruesome ankle injury at Georgia Tech and safety Deon Bush is trying to get back up to game speed after off-season hernia surgery.