SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has been dealt a blow to its running back situation, as coach Kyle Whittingham announced Saturday that junior Armand Shyne will miss significant time with an unspecified injury.
“Armand’s out for quite awhile. It’s not season-ending, but it’s a long time. He’s on the shelf,” Whittingham said.
The coach said the injury happened during an 11-on-11 team session.
“He was just making a run, and (it was) kind of a fluke thing,” Whittingham said.
Shyne was returning from injury after a season-ending leg injury cut short his 2016 season. He played in five games last year and had 373 rushing yards and four touchdowns before being lost for the season in a win over Arizona.
Shyne, who was in strong contention to be this year's lead back, said early in fall camp he was nearly back to 100 percent health following last year's injury.
"I don't feel it much. I still go in for treatment just so it doesn't get any worse but I just keep it consistent," he said.
That makes sophomore Zack Moss the undisputed No. 1 back for the Utes, Whittingham said.
"Losing a guy like that, a guy that's very different from what I am — he brings different things to the table — it's going to be real hard to replace that," Moss said. "But I think we've got a lot of guys in the room that can do that and step up to help me out."
Moss was one of several players Whittingham identified as having a strong day during the team’s scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday.
“He’s 215 pounds, he’s strong as a bull. He’s got speed, and it's his time," Whittingham said.
Sophomore Devonta’e Henry-Cole will be the backup, with freshman TJ Green and senior Jordan Howard battling for the third running back spot.
“We’re very high on Zack and Devonta’e Henry-Cole has been good since last spring,” Whittingham said.