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September 2, 2013Redshirt freshman running back Drake Johnson will miss the remainder of the 2013 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to a release by the Michigan athletic department.
In the Wolverines' 59-9 win over Central Michigan last Saturday, Johnson was covering a Michigan punt when his leg rolled under a Central Michigan player. He walked off the field under his own power but did not return to the game.
Johnson, who played high school football across the street from Michigan Stadium at Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer, had risen up the depth chart this offseason. Heading into the game he was the first backup to fifth-year senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, the starter.
Johnson beat out redshirt sophomore Justice Hayes, junior Thomas Rawls and freshmen Derrick Green and De'Veon Smith for the spot.
"You just hate it for Drake, but he's as tough as anyone on this football team, and he will make it back from this," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. "He worked so hard through his redshirt season and had a really good camp in backing up Fitz, not to mention he was a really valuable special teams player for us."
Johnson made his Wolverine debut earlier in the game. He was the second running back to check in (after Toussaint), carrying the ball twice for nine yards.
Without Johnson in the lineup, the rest of the backs will continue to jockey for playing time behind Toussaint (14 carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns vs. Central Michigan).
All four took at least one carry against the Chips: Green (11 carries for 58 yards and a score); Smith (seven carries for 12 yards); Rawls (three carries for 12 yards and a score); and Hayes (one carry for seven yards).