Miami football 4 new defensive starters due to injuries

Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /

Edge rushers Rueben Bain and Jahfari Harvey, defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte and safety Jaden Harris started for the Miami football team versus Bethune-Cookman because of injuries to starters in front of them. Nyjalik Kelly and Akheem Mesidor at edge rusher, Branson Deen at DT and Kamren Kinchens at safety are out.

Deen, Kelly, Kinchens and Mesidor all sustained injuries in the win last week over Texas A&M. There has been no timetable on when Deen, Kelly, Kinchens and Mesidor could return. Kinchens was released from the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Sunday after staying overnight with a neck injury.

Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald reported that freshman running back Mark Fletcher has not been spotted and redshirt sophomore tight end Elijah Arroyo was in street clothes. Arroyo was the projected starting TE for the Miami football team this season but is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in September 2022.

Fletcher has 13 carries for 82 yards and one touchdown this season. At 6’2 and 225 pounds, Fletcher is expected to give Miami a bigger back to run inside for tough yards. Starter Henry Parrish, Ajay Allen who scored a first-quarter TD and Don Chaney Jr. should carry the early load for Miami at RB.

With Fletcher out, true Freshman Chris Johnson should make his Miami debut on Thursday night. Cameron McCormick and freshman Riley Williams have been the top two TEs with Arroyo out. Expect sophomore Jaleel Skinner to receive significant playing time and for freshman Jackson Carver to make his debut at TE.

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A lot of Miami freshman should make debuts on Thursday. Players to watch at the positions impacted by injuries are DT Joshua Horton and Ahmad Moten, edge rushers Cyrus Moss and Jayden Wayne and safety Markeith Williams. Miami will play at Temple on September 23, followed by a bye week.