USC RB Ronald Jones II Out vs. Cal with Thigh Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2017

Southern California running back Ronald Jones II runs the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against California, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Los Angeles. USC won 45-24. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

The No. 5 USC Trojans will be without leading rusher Ronald Jones II for Saturday's game against the California Golden Bears due to a thigh injury.

According to Zach Helfand of the Los Angeles Times, Jones did not partake in warm-ups. Joey Kaufman of the Los Angeles Daily News then reported that Jones didn't even make the trip with the team.

Jones has been a key contributor to USC's 3-0 start, as he has registered 322 yards and five touchdowns on the ground to go along with three receptions for 85 yards and another score.

He was especially strong in a season-opening win over Western Michigan, racking up 159 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.

While quarterback Sam Darnold entered the season with all eyes on him due to his Heisman Trophy candidacy, Jones has arguably been equally important to the Trojans' offensive success.

With Jones out of the lineup, there will be an even greater onus on Darnold and the passing game, while second-leading rusher Stephen Carr figures to get most of the carries out of the backfield.

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