The Central Michigan backfield took another deep hit today as it was announced that potential starter Romello Ross tore his ACL in fall camps. The injury will prevent him from playing in 2016.
Ross was redshirted last year for seven games, but had his redshirt burned due to injuries at running back. Ross played the relief role very well, accumulating 247 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and 106 yards and a touchdown in the air in six games of action.
Ross was a leading offensive contributor for the Chippewas in their Quick Lane Bowl loss to the Minnesota Gophers with 128 total yards of offense.
Head coach John Bonamego expressed disappointment for Ross, but also said the team will carry on as planned to CMUChippewas.com in an interview released yesterday:
"I'm disappointed for Romello because he played an important role for us last season and was in position to continue to improve," Bonamego said. "I know he will work hard to be back for 2017."
"As I said on media day, the running back position is by committee, and they are all going to get their touches," Bonamego said. "Those guys all will play, and they all will contribute."
The 5'10", 200 lb. sophomore and Detroit native was in the mix to get a majority of the snaps in the CMU backfield after making a great impression in the second half of the season.
Last year's starter Devon Spalding (season-ending injury) does return, which makes Ross' loss a little easier to swallow. Jahray Hayes, a JUCO transfer who was also utilized in the second half of the season, returns as well for the Chippewas to provide experience and depth to the position. Redshirt freshman Jerrod Davis and junior Jay Roberson could also find time in the rotation.
CMU's first game of the season will be in Mt. Pleasant on Sept. 1 against Presbyterian on ESPN3.