West Virginia Mountaineers suspend 11 for violating team rules

West Virginia has suspended 11 football players for Saturday's season opener against Eastern Kentucky.

The suspensions are not coronavirus-related. All are one-game suspensions for violating team rules.

The suspensions include three starters: tackle Junior Uzebu, center Chase Behrndt and inside receiver T.J. Simmons. Several backups are among the players to miss Saturday's game, including cornerback David Vincent-Okoli and tight ends Mike O'Laughlin and T.J. Banks.

Tackle Brandon Yates and center Zach Frazier are likely to step in for Uzebu and Behrndt against Eastern Kentucky. Simmons started nine games last season and recorded 35 catches for 455 yards and four touchdowns.

The other suspended players are backup inside receiver Isaiah Esdale, backup inside receiver Zack Dobson, backup offensive linemen Tairiq Stewart and Zach Davis, and backup long-snapper J.P. Hadley

The suspended players would be set to return Sept. 26, when West Virginia opens Big 12 play at No. 15 Oklahoma State.