The hits keep on coming with Iowa's running backs.
On Saturday, Iowa held its second open practice of fall camp—the last time fans will see the Hawks until Sept. 1 when Iowa plays Northern Illinois.
On a routine goal line play, true freshman running back Barkley Hill ran over the left tackle for an eight-yard touchdown. Upon crossing the plane of the goal line, he was hit—though the hit was to his upper body—and he went down clutching his knee.
Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette tweeted,
Loud pop with Hill’s knee.— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) August 18, 2012
According to Morehouse, Hill couldn't put any weight on the knee and was carted off the field.
Morehouse further reported that "Iowa sports information director Steve Roe said there would be no official word on the extent of the injury until it was assessed by team doctors."
Oh, and that was going to be the last play from scrimmage of the practice.
Just to go over the carnage, following the 2011 season, leading rusher, sophomore Marcus Coker, and freshman Mika'il McCall opted to transfer out of Iowa City (per Yahoo! Sports). This, of course, followed about seven years of running back injuries and attrition that began in 2004 and became known as the Angry Iowa Running Back Hating God, or AIRBHG for short.
Then, at the beginning of spring practices, probable starting running back, true sophomore Jordan Canzeri, tore his ACL (per ESPN).
Towards the beginning of fall camp, redshirt sophomore De'Andre Johnson was kicked off the team (per CBS Sports) for repeated run-ins with the law.
There have been no major injuries since then, but every time an Iowa running back touches the ball, it seems as if Hawkeye fans have to hold their collective breath.
If Hill does miss significant time, the remaining available scholarship backs are sophomore Damon Bullock, junior fullback Brad Rogers (who has logged carries as a tailback) and true freshman Greg Garmon.
Also, walk-ons, junior Andre Dawson and true freshman Michael Malloy, are available and have logged significant practice time minutes.
Let's hope they can all stay healthy and out of trouble.