Burns' dad, Dan, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, "Found a mass, a blood clot in the back of his head, and a small one on the left side which caused a stroke and left his right side weak."
Burns, a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore, had only played in one game in his Pitt career, though he was battling for the starting fullback job heading into the fall.
"Paul Chryst, the class act that he is, says, 'Derrick, I don't care about football right now. We just got to get you better,' " Dan Burns said, referring to the Panthers' coach.
Pitt released a statement Tuesday saying Burns had been hospitalized, but has not revealed any more information on his status.