Despite Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham’s efforts to limit contact during an elongated preseason, the Utes will be without running back Armand Shyne for an undisclosed amount of time.
“Armand is out for quite a while,” Whittingham said following Saturday’s scrimmage at Rice-Eccles Stadium. “It’s not season-ending, but it’s a long time. So he’s on the shelf.”
The injury took place during an 11-on-11 team period in practice, according to Whittingham who described it as a “fluke thing” and did not disclose the exact type of injury.
Shyne, a junior from Oakland, Calif., had been battling with sophomore Zack Moss for the starting running back job. Shyne was leading the team in rushing (373) last season when he suffered a season-ending ACL injury five games into the season.
Whittingham said Moss becomes the “undisputed” number one running back in the wake of Shyne’s injury, and Devonta’e Henry-Cole moves to a “solid number two” with freshman TJ Green and senior Jordan Howard competing for the third spot.
Moss, who missed three games due to injuries last season, expressed sympathy for Shyne.
“I feel bad for him man, he tore his ACL last year and then coming back breaking his arm like I did, I already know how that feels,” Moss said. “He had a lot of expectations for this year, to see him go down, man, it’s kind of hard.”
Offense pleases Taylor
Whittingham said most of Saturday’s closed scrimmage was not live, particularly for players on the two-deep on the team’s depth chart. First-year offensive coordinator Troy Taylor did say he was happy with how the offense played.
“A good day, very well executed,” Taylor said. “We made a lot of plays — no drops at wide receiver, which is huge. That group is really coming along. The quarterbacks played well. Good up front. Very pleased. One of our best days.”
Taylor and Whittingham both maintained there is not enough separation among the quarterbacks to name a starter or a backup.
The offensive line remains a work in progress. The Utes will be replacing four starters from last year’s line, and they’ve been mixing groups throughout camp.
Junior college transfer Jordan Agasiva, a projected starter at guard, has been sidelined for several practices, but he is expected to be cleared to participate in practice on Monday.