Shift occurs in Louisville backfield

Corvin Lamb

A season-ending injury to Senorise Perry forces coaching staff to make some changes to the depth chart. CardinalAuthority.com spoke with offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and running backs coach Kenny Carter following Tuesday's practice and has the latest.

During its second offensive possession of the game last Saturday at Syracuse, Louisville running back Senorise Perry left the game due to a leg injury. On Monday, head coach Charlie Strong announced that the junior suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament and would out for the remainder of the season.

Redshirt freshman running back Corvin Lamb (5'9, 205) will attempt to fill the void left by Perry, who finished the season with a team-leading 705 yards and 11 touchdowns.

"You don't replace," said U of L running backs coach Kenny Carter. "What you do is you take another good player, who has been waiting for his opportunity to play, to step up and do what he does,"

While he saw little action against Syracuse due to his repetitions in practice being limited, Lamb displayed his potential late in the first quarter when he took a short pass from Teddy Bridgewater and outran the defense for a 53-yard touchdown.

"He's had to be the three guy and he's had to do it without a lot of reps, but he came in and did a really nice job," said offensive coordinator Shawn Watson. "We are really comfortable with him and what he brings to the table."

"He's fast, he can run, he can do all the things that the other two guys have been doing," said Carter. "He's actually further along than Jeremy or Senorise were at this point in their careers."

Louisville's ground game has been a near equal balanced attack, split between Perry and fellow junior Jeremy Wright, who has rushed for 680 yards and 9 touchdowns. Whether Lamb receives a similar number of carries will depend on his performance during the next two weeks of practice and eventual game situations.

"It all depends on how he practices and what we deem as the right thing to do for us, so it's hard to answer that right now," said Carter. "He's been great and has been practicing well. He's done a tremendous job."

An injured wrist kept Lamb from competing for one of the open starting spots during fall camp.

"Had he not been injured early, I truly believe that he would have been in the mix with those guys for playing," said Watson.

Also moving up the depth chart is junior Dominique Brown. Brown (6'2, 230) was second on the team with 533 yards a season ago, but a preseason knee injury sidelined him for much of the season and is considered to be a redshirt candidate.

On Monday, Charlie Strong told the media that he would have a conservation with Brown about the possibility of playing during the team's final two regular season games and eventual bowl game.

"We've had that conversation and we're playing for a championship, so if we need to use him we're going use him," Carter told CardinalAuthority.com on Tuesday. "If you're an unselfish person, which he is, and in a position to win a championship, you've got to do that and he understands that."

Brown has been practicing for weeks and is in a position to play if needed.

"If we need to play Dom to win a championship, we‘ll play him," added Watson. "No doubt about it."

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