The Northern Illinois' backfield got a little shallower Tuesday with news that sophomore running back Keith Harris Jr. had season ending surgery according to head coach Rod Carey.
Coach Carey: Keith Harris Jr. will be having surgery today, ending his season.— NIU Huskie Athletics (@NIUAthletics) October 15, 2013
Harris Jr., who is third on the team in carries with 21, suffered an ankle injury in the Huskies 38-24 win over Kent State on Oct. 5, and after a week off, the injury became serious enough to require surgery.
On the surface, the injury doesn't seem that serious of a blow to NIU's rushing attack with quarterback Jordan Lynch and running back Cameron Stingily combining for 1,272 yards and 10 touchdowns on 225 carries. But the Huskies are already short at running back and are without the season's projected starter Akeem Daniels, who has been battling a foot injury since the offseason. Stingily has been a pleasant surprise, but with his primary backup out for the season, NIU needs to find him some help in order to not over work the junior back.
"Any and all scenarios are available," Carey said during Tuesday's press conference. "Next man up."
Some potential options for the Huskies at running back lie in possibly moving freshman Aregeros Turner from wideout to running back. Turner was recruited as an athlete, and took snaps at multiple positions in the summer and has played running back in high school. Other options include removing the redshirt from true freshmen Jordan Huff and Joel Bouagnon and moving them into the rotation. Huff was ranked as the No. 24 recruit in the state of Alabama this past season and is one of the Huskies' more prized newcomers.
NIU heads to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan saturday to take on Central Michigan at 3 p.m.. The game can be streamed live on ESPN3.