The Baylor Bears’ already thin roster appears to be getting even thinner.
The school announced Friday afternoon that running back Johnny Jefferson is not expected to return to action with the Bears this year after a bit of a tumultuous month.
“Johnny, while still a member of this team, in addition to healing recent injuries is taking some time away from school to deal with some personal issues and hopefully will rejoin the program for spring semester,” Baylor interim head coach Jim Grobe said in a statement.
Jefferson has been limited for several weeks with a foot injury he suffered during a preseason practice but also was nursing a rib injury as a result of a car accident in early August. He did not play in Baylor’s opener and was not expected to see any playing time during Saturday’s game against SMU despite some positive reports surrounding his recovery from the foot injury.
The loss of Jefferson is expected to hurt Baylor’s depth at running back more than anything, as he was one of two 1,000 yard rushers returning from a season ago. The junior had a breakout game in the Russell Athletic Bowl in which he ran for 299 yards, scored three times and was named the game’s MVP.
Starter Shock Linwood figures to continue to receive the lion’s share of carries for Baylor over the coming weeks but Jefferson’s role will likely be spread out between sophomore Terence Williams and redshirt freshman JaMycal Hasty.
Baylor is at home this week against SMU before heading to Rice next Saturday as they round out non-conference play.