North Carolina football running back British Brooks suffered a season-ending lower body injury during practice on Saturday night, team officials confirmed to the Daily Tar Heel.
The graduate back began his career at UNC as a walk-on, and eventually established himself as a key special teams player. Brooks earned his first start at running back in the 2020 Orange Bowl, where he rushed for 53 yards. Last season, he shined against N.C. State, rushing for 124 yards on 15 carries.
Brooks was presumed to be the first-option running back for the Tar Heels this season, ahead of junior D.J. Jones, sophomore Elijah Green and sophomore Caleb Hood. Jones played in nine games last season, accumulating 325 all-purpose yards. Green and Hood saw less action, but both played limited snaps on offense and special teams throughout the season.
First-years George Pettaway and Omarion Hampton are the other two running backs on the roster that could compete for minutes. Both were 247Sports 4-star recruits.
"We want to play three (running backs), and British is the one with the most experience and he's the best blocker, and he's the most secure with the ball, so he'll probably have one of those spots when we get through," head coach Mack Brown said during the first day of training camp on July 29.
Brooks' injury is the second serious blow to UNC's offense in the past week. On Aug. 8, Brown announced that senior wide receiver Antoine Green suffered an upper-body injury in scrimmage.
Green is expected to miss six to ten weeks, leaving junior Josh Downs as one of the few veteran skill players available to start the season for UNC.
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