Jheranie Boyd #87 of the North Carolina Tar Heels makes a touchdown catch against the Elon Phoenix.
When UNC faces Louisville on Saturday it will be without two key offensive players. Andrew Carter of the News & Observer has confirmed that both running back Giovanni Bernard and wide receiver Jheranie Boyd will miss the Saturday matchup with the Cardinals. Inside Carolina had previously reported Bernard was not with the team when it traveled to Louisville earlier on Friday.
Earlier in the week, one report noted Bernard had practiced with a brace on his injured left knee. That same report said Boyd was wearing a soft cast and riding the exercise bike on the sidelines. Based on that information, Boyd's absense is probably not a surprise. Bernard, on the other hand, was thought to have improved to the point that he would play this week. Head coach Larry Fedora even said during the press conference following UNC's 28-27 loss to Wake Forest that he though Bernard was "close" to returning.
The loss of Boyd is a depth issue for the WR corps, especially since Sean Tapley is also said to have been nursing an injury. Bernard's absence for a second straight week, takes the Heels' best offensive weapon off the field and puts enormous pressure on the combo of Romar Morris and A.J. Blue to fill the void in the running game. Those two combined for a solid 175 yards versus Wake Forest. If they can repeat that sort of production and the passing game is effective, the loss of Bernard will be mitigated to some extent.