RALEIGH — N.C. State's injury problems are well-documented but the loss of linebacker Nate Irving, even temporarily, really hurts.
Irving, the team's best player, left the ECU game with a right ankle injury.
He first injured the ankle at 9:58 in the second quarter of the Wolfpack's game with East Carolina. He limped off the field favoring his right leg and appeared to injure his ankle.
Irving returned on ECU's first possession of the second half with his right ankle taped up but could not continue. His day is done as the team's enter the fourth quarter.
Irving leads State with three interceptions and 29 tackles. He had four against ECU before the injury.
State has had as many as nine players on the injured reserve list, including receiver Donald Bowens and running back Toney Baker, who are out for the season.
The Wolfpack did get running back Jamelle Eugene, who led the team in rushing in 2007, back against ECU.