The loss to Arizona was hard to swallow, but was not the worst thing to come out of that game. Kirk Ferentz confirmed on Tuesday during his weekly press conference that Jewel Hampton has injured his knee and will almost certainly miss the rest of the season. Bruce Davis, also with a knee injury, is also most likely out for the year and Paki O'Meara could miss this week's game out with a concussion.
The news about Hampton is terrible. Hampton missed all of last year after tearing his right ACL during the summer. He was "starving" to get back on the field and after playing less than 2 games, he will miss the rest of this season. This time it is his left knee. It has got to be devastating for Hampton who was finally back in action. Hopefully this is a career-ender...it won't be physically, but I could see it happening mentally. A few other guys have been plagued by injury and still turned out a pretty good career though, so here's to that happening for Hampton.
Hampton and Paki's injury unfortunately put a lot of strain on the thin running back position. The only other running back to play this year is Jason White, who injured his knee against Iowa State and is still out. So, right now it's Adam Robinson followed by two true-freshmen who have yet to play a down of college call...both are also coming off of injury. Marcus Coker is likely to be the guy to step in as the #2 back. He broke his collar bone early in fall practice and missed around 5 weeks of practice. He just started going full speed again last week. The other option is De'Andre Johnson. Johnson tore his ACL last year and missed his senior season of high school. He has been healthy thus far at Iowa though, and saw a lot of action during the Kid's Day open practice during fall camp.
The coaches were hoping to red-shirt both of these guys, but not will likely just try to red-shirt one. Iowa could use Brad Rogers, who played at running back last year and in the spring but has since moved to full back. Or try use a player like James Morris, who played running back in high school, just to give Robinson a break every now and again.
Hopefully the Ball State game provides an ample opportunity for whoever is backing up Robinson to get a lot of carries and good game experience. It will be difficult to go through the Big Ten slate with only one capable running back, so we need someone to emerge.