Virginia Tech’s James Mitchell to have season-ending knee surgery

‘I think he needs us and we still need him to be a part of this football team.’

BLACKSBURG, VA - SEPTEMBER 07: Tight end James Mitchell #82 of the Virginia Tech Hokies carries the ball following a reception against the Old Dominion Monarchs in the first half at Lane Stadium on September 7, 2019 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images) (Michael Shroyer, 2019 Michael Shroyer)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Hokies tight end James Mitchell is set to have season-ending knee surgery, according to Virginia Tech’s head football coach, Justin Fuente.

Mitchell was hurt on a tackle during Saturday’s game against Middle Tennessee.

Following the game, Coach Fuente was advised that Mitchell was fine. However, the medical team ordered an MRI which revealed a more serious injury.

“Disappointed for him, a great leader and great young man,” Fuente said to the media Monday. “Not just a great player but team captain and leadership council member. I know how much this football team means to him, that’s immediately where the conversation went.

“James is in a good place, obviously he’s disappointed, as we all are. But these things sometimes happen in football and we’ve got to do a good job of rallying around James. I think he needs us and we still need him to be a part of this football team.”

The NFL prospect decided to return to Blacksburg back in December to pursue his degree and improve his game. He has 880 career receiving yards and 13 touchdowns as a Hokie.

According to Fuente, the goal is to keep Mitchell around the team as much as possible following surgery.

“There’s no replacing him [Mitchell] so it’ll have to be a group effort to step up,” said Fuente.

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Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a content producer in July 2018.