UNLV running back Charles Williams out for season

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L.E. Baskow

UNLV’s Charles Williams (8) is taken off his feet during a tackle by Howard’s Tye Freeland (17) during their home-opening football game on Saturday, September 2, 2017.

Sun, Sep 10, 2017 (3:23 p.m.)

UNLV sophomore running back Charles Williams will have surgery on his injured ankle and will miss the rest of the season.

Williams, the Rebels’ leading returning rusher, made the announcement on his private Twitter page on Sunday. A UNLV spokesman confirmed it to The Sun.

Williams was expected to be one of UNLV’s biggest contributors this season. The 5-foot-9 Fresno native set a school freshman record by rushing for 763 yards last year, and he entered the 2017 campaign listed as a co-No. 1 running back alongside junior Lexington Thomas.

His breakout bid was cut short in Week 1, however. Williams carried 12 times for 93 yards and a touchdown against Howard, but was forced out of the game due to an ankle injury.

Williams was quickly ruled out for Saturday’s game at Idaho, and Thomas performed exceptionally in his absence, running for 190 yards and three touchdowns to lead UNLV to a 44-16 victory. Thomas should continue to receive most of the carries with Williams out for the rest of the season, and junior power back Xzaviar Campbell should see an increased role as well.

Because the injury happened early in the schedule, Williams should be able to secure a medical redshirt for 2017 and retain three years of eligibility when he returns in 2018, though there has been no official word from the team yet regarding Williams’ situation.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at twitter.com/mikegrimala.

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