GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The depth of East Carolina University’s running back corps will be in the spotlight after Rahjai Harris’s season-ending injury against USF last weekend.

Harris suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game in Boca Raton. The Pirates were already without running back Keaton Mitchell, who suffered a hip injury against Navy on Sept. 24. Freshman Marlon Gunn Jr. took over at running back after Harris’s injury, finishing with 61 yards on 15 carries.

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“He’s obviously very disappointed as we are, and my heart sunk for him on the field Saturday,” ECU head coach Mike Houston said during his weekly press conference. “Down deep I knew, but we wanted to get the test results to confirm it. I think everybody has rallied around him. I think it’s a good word for it.

“He and I have had a couple of talks. I’ve talked to his parents. We’re going to support him. He’s such a people person, so I’m probably more worried about him mentally than I am physically. He will make a full recovery. He’ll wear the Purple and Gold and be a great player for us again, just not tomorrow.”

Mitchell, Harris and Gunn each have compiled more than 20 carries this season. Harris has the most (67), followed by Mitchell (46) and Gunn (23). Mitchell leads the backs in rushing yards per game (96.6) and yards per carry (8.4).

So who will shoulder the additional load with Harris out?

“Well, a lot of it is obviously going to fall on Keaton (Mitchell) and rightfully so,” Houston said. “Just like when both of them were healthy. I think in college football, you’ve got to play multiple backs. We felt good going into the game last Saturday with Marlon (Gunn Jr.). He had a great week of practice and I felt very comfortable with him carrying the load that he carried. He responded in a very positive manner. He’ll have more on his shoulders. (Kamarro) Edmonds has continued to improve throughout the year and he’ll have some weight on his shoulders. I think he’s prepared for that and excited for that.

“You’ll have some other guys who will have some opportunities,” Houston added. “That’s why you build depth.”

Mitchell is expected to be back in action this week as the Pirates take on Tulane in New Orleans.

“We were optimistic last week that (Mitchell) would be ready to go on Saturday but just did not feel comfortable after pregame warm-ups,” Houston said. “Given how confident we were in Marlon, we thought it was best to go with Rahjai and Marlon last week. We fully anticipate having Keaton back full go this week.”