UNC football: RB British Brooks out for season with injury
North Carolina lost its second offensive starter in the past week on Saturday when fifth-year running back British Brooks suffered a lower-body injury during practice. The injury will sideline him for the entire season, according to the school.
It’s a devastating blow for Brooks, who entered school as an extra, earned a scholarship and became a key player on special teams waiting for his opportunity to play running back. He was set for a breakout season after leading the Tar Heels in rushing in Carolina’s last three games last season — including a career-high 124 yards against NC State — earning a starting spot.
Carolina will also be without receiver Antoine Green for six to 10 weeks. Green suffered a shoulder injury in a scrimmage on Aug. 6. Green and Josh Downs are the only escapees with big game experience for the Tar Heels at a position that isn’t very deep.
UNC is deep in running back, but Brooks’ absence almost guarantees that at least one of its freshmen will be in the rotation. UNC coach Mack Brown had just congratulated George Pettaway and Omarion Hampton on Monday for fighting well.
Brown said he would like to use three running backs this season after only using two to split the workload the past three seasons.
Junior DJ Jones is now the Heels’ best returning runner from last season. Jones had 253 yards and averaged 4.2 yards per carry in nine games. Jones battled injuries his entire time on campus, but said it was the best health he’s had since arriving at Chapel Hill.
Sophomores Elijah Green and Caleb Hood are also vying for playing time. Hood appeared in seven games last season and rushed for 97 yards and a score. Green appeared in five games and had 39 yards on 11 carries.
This story was originally published August 13, 2022 10:17 p.m.