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Gabe Ervin injury creates more uncertainty for Husker running backs

Gabe Ervin injury creates more uncertainty for Husker running backs

Full Scott Frost press conference from Sept. 20th

An in-flux running back room saw more official changes on the depth chart this week.

Nebraska had previously considered Gabe Ervin and Markese Stepp co-No. 1s ahead of co-No. 2s Rahmir Johnson and Sevion Morrison. Ervin was injured at Oklahoma, and Johnson had his best college game, so all four backs are now considered 1s.

Ervin may not play again this season though after injuring a patellar tendon. Scott Frost said he will at least be out "for a while," but declined to say if it was a season-ending injury 

Stepp — who had 30 rushes for 128 yards through NU's first three games — didn't take a carry against the Sooners. Johnson, meanwhile, saw 45 snaps, ran 11 times for 42 yards and made three catches for 48.

“Ideally we have one lead guy,” Frost said. “It hasn’t worked out that way. I think we have several capable guys. I was really impressed with Rahmir and how he played. I thought he ran hard. He gives us a little bit of spark with his speed.”

Frost said Marvin Scott and Jacquez Yant are also in the mix moving forward. NU will continue to let them all compete and play the most deserving backs in games.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez said Johnson — in his third season at NU — can continue to be an asset to the offense moving forward.

“I love Rahmir,” Martinez said. “The guy is really consistent. Consistent teammate and consistent player. He shows up every day, knows what he’s doing and he plays his tail off. I was really excited for him to finally get that opportunity and go out there and show what he can do.”

Johnson also ascended to No. 1 on the depth chart at kickoff returner this week, replacing Zavier Betts. Betts and Johnson swapped spots, with Betts moving to No. 3 behind Zach Weinmaster.

The only other changes to the depth chart this week are at left guard and punt returner. At left guard, Ethan Piper and Trent Hixson are co-No. 1s ahead of Nouredin Nouili; it had previously not included Hixson at all. The order is shuffled at punt returner, with Samori Touré leading the co-No. 1s ahead of Oliver Martin and Cam Taylor-Britt.

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