UVA’s Lavel Davis Jr. and Chico Bennett suffer ACL injuries

UVA wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr.
UVA wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr.(wvir)
Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 10:06 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team has passed the midway point of its spring practice schedule.

The offseason work can lay the foundation for the upcoming season, but it’s not without its risks.

On Monday, Cavaliers head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced that wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. and linebacker Chico Bennett had both suffered ACL injuries.

“It happened with the least amount of gear we can put on, on grass,” says Mendenhall. “One non-contact (Bennett), just changing directions, and the other (Davis) was two guys getting tangled up.  The only way to really avoid that is not practice during the spring. It always makes you question.  Every time it makes you question.  What to do, what to do different, how to do it better, or just not do it at all.”

Bennett transferred to Virginia from Georgia Tech, and he was in the running for a starting position at linebacker.

Davis will have to wait to build off his phenomenal freshman campaign.

“The ACL’s take a long time, right?” says Mendenhall. “That’s a hard rehab, a hard recovery.  In Lavel’s case, he already did it once, in high school, so he knows how to do it.”

The ‘Hoos will have to replace Davis’ big play capability.

The 6-foot-7 receiver averaged 25.75 yards per reception last season, which was the second-highest average in the nation.

Mendenhall says, “What I have seen is Ra’Shaun Henry has had an amazing spring, and Dontayvion Wicks, who sat out last year, is doing a really nice job, also.  So unfortunately, we’re kind of trading Lavel for Dontayvion, 1-for1.  Our hope was to have both.  So frustrating for all of us.”

Mendenhall says he expects Davis and Bennett to be out until at least November.

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