Kansas Jayhawks wide receiver Brandon Bourbon (25) Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas Jayhawks: Injuries Devastate Running Back Depth Chart

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The Kansas Jayhawks hope to win more than three games this season but injuries may be derailing those dreams before the season even starts.

This week, the Jayhawks received some devastating news. Seniors Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox, the top two returning running backs, are both out for the year. Matt Tait, of KUSports.com reports that Bourbon tore his ACL, and Cox ruptured his Achilles tendon.

Seniors Brandon Bourbon and Taylor Cox, the top two returning running backs, are both out for the year.

So, what are the Jayhawks do to at this point? These two seniors, who might be eligible to appeal to the NCAA for a sixth collegiate season each, were going to be the heart and soul of the running attack.

Now, Charlie Weis is going to have to rely on players new to the program to carry the burden of the running game. According to Tait, Corey Avery and De’Andre Mann are next in line.

…freshman Corey Avery (5-foot-10, 195 pounds) and junior-college transfer De’Andre Mann (5-9, 198) vault to the top of the depth chart and freshman Joe Dineen, a Lawrence native and Free State High graduate, moves over from safety to provide depth.

It will be interesting to see if Joe Dineen will be able to contribute to the running game after moving from safety to help out his team. Most teams need at least three ball carriers, so he should get some chances this season.

The Jayhawks best recruit coming into this season was running back Traevohn Wrench, from nearby Gardner, Kansas. Last month, Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reported that Wrench needed to attend Butler Community College to help qualify him academically.

In less than a month, the Jayhawks have lost probably their top three running backs.

Even more of the offensive burden will fall on the shoulders of quarterback Montell Cozart. The sophomore signal caller is more of a run first quarterback anyway, but now, there will be even more pressure for him to be able to loosen up defenses with his arm instead of his feet.

Cozart completed just 36.5% off his pass attempts as a freshman, and that number must be much, much higher if the Jayhawks are to move the ball at all against the slate of opponents they face this year.

Wins were at a premium already for the Kansas Jayhawks as they must navigate the Big 12 Conference, as well as play the Duke Blue Devils on the road in the non-conference portion of the schedule.

Duke was 10-4 last season, and played in the ACC Championship game. Finding more than three wins with this schedule is going to be even more difficult after losing so much from the offensive side of the ball.

Charlie Weis is going to have his work cut out for him if he is to improve on the paltry three wins of a year ago. It will be interesting to see how effective this offense is going to be with a quarterback who has shown almost no accuracy, and a makeshift running attack.

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Tags: Charlie Weis Kansas Jayhawks Montell Cozart

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