South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore exited Saturday’s game against Tennessee due to a serious leg injury. Although there has been no official announcement from the school, Lattimore will likely miss the rest of the season.
The junior took a handoff with just over five minutes to go in the second quarter and was tackled high by Tennessee linebacker Herman Lathers, before cornerback Eric Gordon went low and hit Lattimore’s right knee.
The seriousness of the injury was magnified as both teams came out to console Lattimore as he was being loaded onto the cart. And this situation is only made worse by the fact Lattimore was just returning to full strength from a torn ACL last season.
Before his injury, Lattimore rushed for 64 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. The junior entered Saturday’s game with 597 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, while also catching 24 passes for 165 yards.
The injury to Lattimore is a tough blow to one of the nation’s best players and arguably the No. 1 running back prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft.
South Carolina has depth at running back with Kenny Miles and Mike Davis, but there’s simply no way to replace Lattimore’s leadership and production. Quarterback Connor Shaw may also have to help pickup the slack on the ground, but South Carolina’s offense certainly won’t be the same the rest of the year.
With losses to LSU and Florida, the Gamecocks’ SEC East title hopes were essentially finished. However, this team now has to regroup after losing its best player and offensive weapon for the second consecutive season.
Photo of Lattimore's injured leg: