Running backs Ingram, Whittington healthy heading into season opener

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Keaontay Ingram in training camp

Keaontay Ingram in training camp

AUSTIN (KXAN) — When it comes to injuries, no news is good news for the Longhorns ahead of their season opener against Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

Tom Herman with no bad news to add to his injury report from Monday when he met with the media on Thursday night.

As for the good news, he’s not holding back with running backs Keaontay Ingram and Jordan Whittington.

“[We feel about] as good as we will probably all year,” Herman said when asked about the duo. “Keaontay, he made a couple cuts yesterday that made me think, ‘Ok, he looks like himself.’ And J Whit had a really good practice today. Again, that’s just gonna be a management thing, but … you don’t see any of the effects when we’re going.”

For Whittington, his groin injury will likely need to be managed all season long. As for Ingram, Herman is confident his bone bruise is fully in the past.

Also, senior defensive lineman Gerald Wilbon is cleared to play after getting his knee drained. Herman adding that he needs to manage an “issue he’s got in there.”

The biggest news is the change in status with Roschon Johnson, who moved from quarterback to running back to help add some depth to a ravaged backfield. On Monday, Herman’s plan was only to use him in an emergency situation, but that’s changed to him definitely seeing the field as a running back.

“He actually texted me, ‘Coach, can we meet?'” Herman said. “He said, ‘I don’t think it’s fair to those other two guys that they’re gonna have to take all those reps. If you need me, play me.’ I thought it was really mature of him to do. The new, four-game red shirt rule certainly helps. So we’re gonna play him.”

How much Johnson plays at running back all season will depend on how quickly Daniel Young and Kirk Johnson can get back. Fortunately for Texas, they play four games before a bye, which both preserves Roschon Johnson’s red shirt and gives both Young and Kirk Johnson an extra week of rest.

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