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Louisville's Michael Dyer has thigh injury, could miss opener

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Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press
If healthy and dialed in, Louisville's Michael Dyer can be one of the top running backs in the ACC.

Louisville already knows it will be without star wide receiver DeVante Parker for Monday night's ACC showdown with Miami, and the Cardinals still don't know whether senior tailback Michael Dyer will be able to play.

Dyer -- who was to share carries with senior Dominique Brown -- has a thigh contusion suffered in a scrimmage, and missed practice every day last week.

"He still has some swelling in there," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said Monday. Petrino also said Dyer has not made the progress expected in the wake of the injury.

Dyer (5-9, 214) might be one of the three most-talented running backs in the ACC. He began his career at Auburn and was a key component on Auburn's 2010 national title team, rushing for 1,093 yards as a true freshman. But he has had numerous off-field issues, and his character and maturity have been questioned. At his best, he has great explosiveness and power. The question for everyone, coaches and scouts alike, is whether he will be fully invested this season.

He had a strong spring and also looked good early in camp, and the thought was Louisville's tailback tandem of Dyer and Brown had a chance to be the best in the ACC. Brown (6-2, 233) is the Cardinals' leading returning rusher, and he is a physical, downhill runner who also is an effective receiver. If Dyer can't go Monday night, Brown would take on a bigger role against the Hurricanes and true freshman L.J. Scott (6-0, 228) would become the No. 2 tailback. Sophomore Brandon Radcliff (5-9, 214), a Miami native, also could see some time in that scenario.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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