Miami has lost running back Gus Edwards for the season, an announcement that came Sunday night and with the Hurricanes less than a week removed from their opener.
The news was revealed as the Hurricanes released their first depth chart of the season. Edwards -- who was a strong candidate to be the starter -- was injured in a scrimmage Aug. 22 and was in a walking boot last week, though Hurricanes coach Al Golden initially said he did not expect the 6-foot-2, 235-pound junior would be sidelined for long.
"Gus worked extremely hard for the last nine month to prepare for this moment," Golden said Sunday night in a statement released through the school. "He set a high standard and did a great job leading and being unselfish. We are tremendously disappointed for him, but we will be there with him on the road to recovery and anxiously await his return."
Edwards was initially listed as "day to day" but reevaluated after several days of treatment, and further diagnosis showed that the problem was far worse than first anticipated. The school did not reveal the exact nature of the injury.
It's a major blow for the Miami offense. The Hurricanes are coming off a 6-7 season, lost the school's all-time leading rusher in Duke Johnson to the NFL draft after last season, plus saw standouts in left tackle Ereck Flowers and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett -- both first-round draft picks this year -- and tight end Clive Walford exhaust their eligibility.
Walford and Johnson were third-round draft picks.
Edwards was widely expected to pick up some of the slack, and showed flashes in his first two seasons when he averaged 5.4 yards per rush with 11 touchdowns in just 127 carries. The Hurricanes have long raved about his athleticism, and GPS sensors last spring showed him running sprints at a speed of about 21 mph.
His absence means a larger workload will be placed on sophomore Joe Yearby (509 yards, 1 TD last year) and true freshman Mark Walton. The depth chart did not say if either has won the starting job. Trayone Gray, a sophomore who saw limited action last year, will back up Yearby and Walton.
The Hurricanes open the season Saturday at home against Bethune-Cookman. They don't open Atlantic Coast Conference play until a trip to Florida State on Oct. 10.