Ohio State Running Back Evan Pryor Expected to Miss 2022 Season with Knee Injury

Ohio State’s running back depth has taken another hit.

A source duty Eleven Warriors that redshirt freshman running back Evan Pryor suffered a “very significant” knee injury on Monday, leaving Ohio State with only three healthy scholarship running backs.

According to Rivals’ Austin Ward, Pryor’s injury will sideline him for the entire 2022 season.

Pryor sent multiple tweets alluding to the injury on Monday and received support from fellow running backs TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams.

Pryor was expected to be Ohio State’s No. 3 running back this season behind Henderson and Williams, and he appeared to have momentum towards earning a role in the offense as a situational player thanks to his agility and pass-catching ability out of the backfield.

“I’m very excited about the prospects for him and having a couple good weeks here and see where we go,” Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford said after the Buckeyes’ second practice of the preseason.

Now, however, the second-year running back has been sidelined indefinitely, putting true freshman Dallan Hayden in position to be the Buckeyes’ third-string running back behind Henderson and Williams.

While it’s unlikely Ohio State will want to have to rely heavily on Hayden against the Fighting Irish, he received praise from Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson for his performance in Saturday’s intrasquad scrimmage at Ohio Stadium.

“Dallan popped a couple really good runs, which is good to see,” Wilson said. “Showed some really good speed. Had a couple of big ones, which was nice for him. He’s learning, freshman, a little bit overwhelmed, but he’s got some speed and explosiveness.”

Ohio State already lost one scholarship running back who was expected to be on this year’s roster when Marcus Crowley medically retired in May following a setback in his recovery from the season-ending knee injury he suffered last fall. Now, the Buckeyes will also be without Pryor, leaving them thin on depth though still strong at the top of the depth chart, as Henderson and Williams are expected to be one of college football’s top one-two punches at running back.

While Henderson, Williams and Hayden are likely to play most of the snaps in Pryor’s absence, the Buckeyes also have three walk-on running backs: Cayden Saunders, who is in his second year on the team, and true freshmen TC Caffey and Chase Brecht .

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