Miami junior offensive tackle Ereck Flowers, one of the nation's best non-seniors at his position, will miss at least one game after having knee surgery Wednesday.
Miami has not disclosed the severity of the injury, and coach Al Golden told reporters after practice Wednesday that he doesn't know about Flowers' prognosis beyond this weekend against North Carolina. Flowers (6-foot-6, 324 pounds) was hurt in the second half of last Thursday's rout of Virginia Tech.
The Miami Herald reported that a "scenario . . . exists that Flowers will be unable to return this season." If that is the case, that could preclude him from turning pro after the season.
Flowers, who was a high school teammate of UM star tailback Duke Johnson at Miami's Norland High, has started 21 consecutive games at left tackle for Miami. He was a part-time starter at right tackle as a true freshman in 2012. Flowers is a physical presence and considered a potential top-flight pass blocker because of excellent footwork.
Miami lost starting right tackle Taylor Gadbois for the season with a knee injury in the Sept. 27 victory over Duke; backup K.C. McDermott also suffered a knee injury in that game, and coaches still hope he can return at some point this season. Senior Jon Feliciano -- whose best position probably is guard -- had taken over at right tackle, and now he seems likely to move to the left side. True freshman Trevor Darling then would play right tackle, though Darling also could move into Flowers' vacated spot.
Miami has run for at least 335 yards in each of its past two games, and even with a revamped line, another big day is possible Saturday because North Carolina's defense is the worst in the ACC and No. 109 in the nation against the run. Both teams have two league losses and remain in the ACC Coastal Division race.