Bryce Williams’ injury leaves another runner out for Gophers

Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS- Minnesota has likely lost another running back to a season-ending injury with Bryce Williams the latest to be sidelined for the ground-oriented Gophers.

Coach P.J. Fleck announced the news on Monday, two months after Mohamed Ibrahim hurt his lower left leg and one month after Trey Potts suffered an undisclosed injury serious enough to keep him hospitalized for six days.

Williams, a fourth-year player with 186 yards and three touchdowns on 37 rushes this season, appeared to hurt his lower left leg during a 19-yard reception in the first quarter at Northwestern.

Freshmen Mar'Keise Irving and Ky Thomas have taken over the workload in the backfield, but they’re the only healthy scholarship running backs remaining on the roster. Linebacker Derik LeCaptain took some turns on Saturday and had a 24-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

The Gophers (5-2, 3-1) are second in the Big Ten and 15th in the FBS with an average of 222 rushing yards per game going into this weekend’s home game against Illinois. Ibrahim, Potts, Williams, Irving and Thomas have each had at least one 100-yard game this year, and Irving and Thomas have both done so in two consecutive contests.