Texas loses star RB Jonathon Brooks to season-ending knee injury

Brooks tore the ACL in his right knee during the Longhorns' win over TCU on Saturday

No. 7 Texas will be without one of its best players for the rest of the rest of the season.

The school announced Sunday that running back Jonathon Brooks tore the ACL in his right knee during Saturday’s win over TCU. Brooks was injured during the fourth quarter of the game in Fort Worth and now will be sidelined for the remainder of the year.

It’s a major blow for Texas. Following Bijan Robinson’s departure to the NFL, Brooks emerged as UT’s top running back. Before his injury, Brooks accumulated 1,139 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. He also has 25 catches for 286 yards and a receiving TD this season. He rushed for 104 yards and two TDs vs. TCU for his sixth 100-plus yard performance of the season.

Brooks ranks sixth in the FBS in rushing yards and seventh in rushing yards per game (113.9).

“We’re heartbroken for Jonathon,” Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He was having a fantastic season and leaves a void that needs to be filled. But we know he will continue to be an invaluable leader on our team, helping us prepare as we move forward in our mission this season. I know he’ll work extremely hard in his recovery, get back to full speed as soon as he can, and we will be there by his side supporting him through all of that.”

Texas running back Jonathon Brooks runs free before scoring a touchdown against TCU during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Texas running back Jonathon Brooks had accounted for 11 total touchdowns this season before tearing the ACL in his right knee Saturday night. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

With Brooks sidelined, freshman CJ Baxter and sophomore Jaydon Blue will likely move into more significant roles within the offense. Baxter is second on the team with 390 yards and three touchdowns on 87 carries. Blue has 167 yards and a TD on 29 carries and has primarily been used in short-yardage situations, often as a wildcat quarterback.

Texas improved to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in Big 12 play with Saturday’s 29-26 win and is still firmly in the College Football Playoff picture. Next on the schedule is a trip to Iowa State Saturday night in primetime. From there, UT will close out the regular season at home vs. Texas Tech on Nov. 24.

With just one loss in conference, the Longhorns are alone atop the Big 12 standings and can clinch a spot in the conference title game with a win over the Cyclones and some help elsewhere next weekend.