Washington running back Cameron Davis fends off Colorado defensive back Kaylin Moore during a game on Nov. 19, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Washington running back Cameron Davis fends off Colorado defensive back Kaylin Moore during a game on Nov. 19, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

UW starting running back Cam Davis out for season with injury

The lower-body injury was sustained late last week, according to coach Kalen DeBoer.

By Mike Vorel / The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Cameron Davis has a tattoo covering his entire chest, that depicts an angry sea. It shows a massive shark, mouth open, peeking out of the water — while a sea monster’s tentacles swallow an entire ship. The scene is accompanied by seven words that border his collarbone:

It’s about the journey, not the destination

Davis’ journey was never expected to be easy.

The 6-foot, 212-pound junior — who took the vast majority of UW’s starting running back reps this offseason — will miss the 2023 season with a lower body injury sustained late last week, coach Kalen DeBoer announced Tuesday.

Sophomore offensive lineman Gaard Memmelaar will also miss the season with an injury, while walk on safety Sean Toomey-Stout has medically retired.

But it’s Davis’ absence that leaves the most immediate dent in UW’s depth chart.

“Cam is a huge part of (the offense),” DeBoer said. “It’s his second year in the system, works so hard, leads the right way, disciplined guy. He not only does a great job with the ball in his hands but in pass protection he knows everything inside and out.

“But we’ve got guys who have come into the program, guys who have already been here. It’s a competitive room, and guys are going to have opportunities to step up. We need that from them, and they will (step up). That’s what every football season brings, times of adversity. Our team is going to respond in a great way. We’re going to support Cam and Gaard and Sean.”

And at running back, at least, UW doesn’t appear to lack available bodies. Junior Mississippi State transfer Dillon Johnson and sophomore Will Nixon have also earned starting reps and appear primed for significant roles, while Arizona State transfer Daniyel Ngata, senior Richard Newton and sophomore Sam Adams II are proven contributors as well.

Freshman running back Tybo Rogers immediately impressed this spring but is currently indefinitely suspended for a violation of team rules.

When asked if Johnson — who missed much of the spring after reaggravating a knee injury — would be ready to carry the load, DeBoer said: “I definitely think so. He’s just trying to get his legs underneath him. We’ve ramped up practice and reps each week, and he’s in a good place right now, continuing to climb.

“When you’ve got some other guys who are pretty good, who know the offense inside and out too, I think we’ll have a committee there. I think that would have happened to some level even if (Davis) was with us.”

Memmelaar, meanwhile, had been practicing with the second team at guard after appearing in four games last season. A Greenbank product, Toomey-Stout participated in four games last season — his second campaign in Seattle.

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