Washington running back Cameron Davis will miss the 2023 season due to injury, coach Kalen DeBoer announced Tuesday. Davis, who was an expected starter for a loaded Husky team expected to compete for the Pac-12 title, is the only returning running back in the conference who rushed for at least 10 touchdowns last season.
Davis saw plenty of playing time in 2022 behind top backfield option Wayne Taulapapa, who recently signed a rookie free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks. He played in 11 games and rushed for 522 yards and 13 touchdowns.
The 6-foot and 212-pound Davis also flashed versatility, hauling in 19 catches for 137 yards. It marked his second-straight season with at least 100 receiving yards.
Davis redshirted in 2019 and retained his year of eligibility due to the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He will still have two seasons to play for the Huskies when he returns. His injury, however, is a big blow to a Washington team that had to dip heavily into the transfer portal for depth in the backfield.
Where can Washington turn?
The loss of Davis is significant, but Washington's cabinet at running back isn't empty -- just a little bit limited. The Huskies brought in a pair of transfer running backs in Mississippi State's Dillon Johnson and Arizona State's Daniyel Ngata.
Given his experience in the SEC, Johnson is likely to step into the starting role. he rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns over the last two seasons with the Bulldogs, and his 6-foot, 216-pound frame fits what Washington typically looks for from its backs.
The 5-foot-10 Ngata provides a change of pace. He was never a bellcow at Arizona State, but he did carry the ball 50 times in each of the last two years.
If Washington loses either Ngata or Johnson, then worry might really start to set in. The Huskies have three healthy scholarship options behind the two transfers, and fifth-year senior Richard Newton is the only other player with real experience. To compound matters, freshman Tybo Rogers is serving an indefinite suspension for violation of team rules.