Injury Impact: Deontae Cooper's torn ACL

News came out Sunday that freshman RB Deontae Cooper had indeed torn the ACL in his left knee and would be lost for the season, so we at Dawgman.com figured we would take a look at the running back position and how his loss will affect the running game this fall...

It's a sad fact of reality, but in the game of football, you are only one play away from a major injury.

Freshman RB Deontae Cooper went down in Saturday's scrimmage with a torn ACL and will be lost for the season, so how will the loss of his services affect Washington's running game?

At this point it's hard to tell exactly what role he would have played.

Sophomore RB Chris Polk was expected to be the starter this fall, but over the last four practices he's been resting the surgically repaired left shoulder he's been nursing along since the end of last season.

Polk missed all of spring while rehabbing, but took part in all of Washington's offseason workouts and looked ready to have a good camp, but he dinged the shoulder in a pass-blocking drill and has been limited since then.

Because of that, Cooper and his classmate, Jesse Callier, have gotten a ton of carries in camp which head coach Steve Sarkisian said was something that the coaching staff liked to see.

Cooper isn't as quick as Callier, but he's got a knack for finding a crease and then hitting it at full-speed. Once he gets into the secondary, Cooper was able to run away from the DBs on a regular basis which was a bit of a surprise because, when he signed with Washington, I thought that was his biggest negative.

With him having to miss the year due to his injury, Callier and Johri Fogerson, who both are having outstanding camps, will see an increase in their touches.

Callier will likely be the primary backup once the season gets underway. As stated earlier, he's very quick and has made several defenders miss in closed quarters, allowing him to get in the open and run away from people.

Where Callier will struggle is in pass-protection, although he's been diligent in working on that aspect of his game and could improve as the season progresses.

Fogerson is widely considered the best receiver of the group. He's got soft hands and has shown more toughness this year in his running style as well.

Sarkisian has mentioned they would like to use him in a set package of plays every game that can showcase his talents and put him in position to succeed.

The fourth player in this group who could see an increase in playing time is Demitrius Bronson, but at this point it's still tough to say what role he will play.

As a freshman last year, in the spring, Bronson tore it up and looked poised to be a big contributor in the fall. However, he caught a case of fumbleitis and never regained the full confidence of the coaching staff.

During this past spring, Bronson was moved to fullback for a time and has been used in the 'big back' role that the coaches like to use in short-yardage situations. However, at this point it's really hard to see him getting much in the way of touches since he really hasn't appeared ready for an increased role.

Luckily for Washington, they have built up enough depth to sustain an injury like Cooper's and keep going, but if they lose any more, then they could be in a bit of trouble.


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