MORGANTOWN - Tyler Urban hasn't really played any football for more than a month now, but perhaps the layoff wasn't a total loss.
If the West Virginia tight end ever wants to get into coaching, at least now he has some practical experience.
Urban's main contribution lately has been doing whatever he can from the sidelines to help the Mountaineers' other tight end, Will Johnson. Urban will watch plays, point out things that Johnson might not otherwise be able to see from his vantage point and do whatever he can to put Johnson in a better position to succeed.
"It was frustrating, but it was a good experience to watch and see and be able to help him,'' Urban said.
Urban won't go so far, though, as to take credit for Johnson's most significant contribution in Urban's absence. It was Johnson who made the leaping catch along the back line of the end zone at Marshall on Sept. 10 to put the Mountaineers in position to win that game in overtime.
"No,'' Urban said. "That was all Will.''
Shortly, though, Urban will be back in the position he handles best, not as a coach but a player. After rehabilitating a knee injury suffered in the first game of the season, the 6-foot-5, 249-pound junior is pretty much ready to play again.
He could see his first significant action Saturday when West Virginia (3-1) plays host to UNLV (1-4) at 3:30 p.m. at Mountaineer Field.
"I just want to go out and hit somebody,'' Urban said. "The LSU game I got one snap, but that was when we just took a knee to run the clock out at the end of the first half. But at least I got to hit somebody.''
Urban's issue is a strained or sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his knee. The good news is that it wasn't a tear. The bad news is that it was no less debilitating than had it been an injury to the more common anterior cruciate ligament.
"I was just running an out route and caught the ball and somebody jumped on my back,'' Urban said of the play early in the third quarter of WVU's 32-0 win over Coastal Carolina. "My knee drove into the turf.''