Nebraska loses running backs Gabe Ervin Jr. and Rahmir Johnson to season-ending injuries

Nebraska's Gabe Ervin Jr. (22) rushes against Northern Illinois' Skyler Gill-Howard (58) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, in Lincoln, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lost top running backs Gabe Ervin Jr. and Rahmir Johnson to season-ending injuries, coach Matt Rhule announced Monday.

Ervin dislocated his shoulder and Johnson dislocated his hip in the Cornhuskers' 35-11 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday. Both will require surgery.

Ervin started the first two games for the Huskers (1-2) and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. He leads the team with 38 attempts and 196 yards, and he's caught two passes for 20 yards.

Johnson, who started against Northern Illinois, has had 12 carries for 65 yards, including a 44-yard burst.

Anthony Grant will move to the top of the depth chart for Saturday's home game against Louisiana Tech (2-2) and will be backed up by Emmett Johnson and Kwinten Ives.

Grant had been the projected starter entering the season but has been limited to a backup role. He didn't play against No. 18 Colorado on Sept. 9 after a critical fumble in the 13-10 season-opening loss at Minnesota.

Grant led the Huskers last season with 915 yards and six touchdowns on 218 carries, the most attempts by a Nebraska player since 2014. Grant also caught 18 passes for 104 yards.

Rhule also announced that backup cornerback Dwight Bootle II would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.


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