Miami football confirms WR Jeremiah Payton and TE Larry Hodges out

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 14: (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald confirmed about an hour before kickoff the Miami football team will be without redshirt freshmen, wide receiver Jeremiah Payton and tight end Larry Hodges.

Confirming a report that came out on Friday, redshirt freshman Jeremiah Payton is out for the Miami football game at Louisville on Saturday night. Neither Payton nor redshirt freshman tight end Larry Hodges made the trip to Louisville with their Hurricanes teammates. That will hurt the Hurricanes’ depth in the passing game.

Payton was fourth in the Miami receiving corps with 29 snaps in the season opener against UAB last week and had one reception for 13 yards. Hodges played six snaps against the Blazers but did not record a reception. Miami has a variable of players for who will receive the snaps that went to Payton and Hodges last week.

Starting WRs Mike Harley, Dee Wiggins and Mark Pope could receive more snaps. Former walk-on, redshirt junior WR Marshall Few played 16 snaps against UAB and true freshman Michael Redding III played 12 snaps. True freshman Xavier Restrepo, Keyshawn Smith and Daz Worsham could make their debuts against Louisville.

News broke on Friday that two Miami players did not make the trip to Louisville because of an issue related to COVID-19. It has not been confirmed if that was Payton and/or Hodges. Payton posted on his Instagram stories wishing his teammates well with the mask emoji that has since been deleted.

Payton’s presence in the passing game will be missed with him playing nearly a third of the snaps against UAB. Hodges absence will be minimal. Starting TE Brevin Jordan and second-team TE Will Mallory can easily split the six snaps that Hodges played against UAB. Losing players to COVID-19 is the 2020 reality.

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Three unidentified Miami players contacted COVID-19 in July just before training camp began in early August. The report on Friday was that two unidentified Miami players contact with someone who had COVID but did not necessarily test positive for it. The entire situation is fluid. Do not expect the players names to be released by UM.