Running back Don Chaney, Jr. suffers season-ending ACL injury, weakening Miami’s offensive depth

Freshman running back Don Chaney, Jr. finds a gap between defenders and runs into the end zone during Miami's game versus Appalachian State at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021.
Freshman running back Don Chaney, Jr. finds a gap between defenders and runs into the end zone during Miami's game versus Appalachian State at Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Second-year freshman Don Chaney Jr. was just starting his second season with the Canes when he injured his right knee in Saturday’s game against Appalachian State.

Chaney Jr. was slotted as the backup to Cam’Ron Harris at running back, and his vacancy will now open a door of opportunity for freshman Cody Brown and Thaddius Franklin Jr, two former four-star prospects.

“Cam Harris made some really good runs on Saturday,’’ Miami head coach Manny Diaz said. “This is his time. And Cody Brown and Thad Franklin, two young guys with a lot of promise, will be right behind him to help carry the load at running back.’’

The injury bug has hovered around Chaney Jr. throughout the large part of his college career. In the second scrimmage of spring practice in 2020, he suffered a shoulder injury and underwent surgery that sidelined him for months.

While he’s not Miami’s starting running back, Chaney Jr. upheld a significant role in the offense while platooning Harris. In just under seven minutes of play against Appalachian State, Chaney had four rush attempts for a total of 21 yards. He averaged 5.3 yards and scored the first touchdown of the game.

Last season, Chaney played 11 games, rushed for a total of 322 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Facing a significant loss to its offense, Miami’s young talent will have big shoes to fill throughout the season. The Hurricanes’ offense looks to respond on Saturday at noon when they host the Michigan State Spartans.