Terence Williams, Baylor's leading rusher, has 'significant' shoulder injury

Terence Williams led Baylor with 1,048 yards last season. (AP)

Baylor could be without its best running back for quite a while.

Bears coach Matt Rhule told reporters Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days that Terence Williams suffered a shoulder injury during spring practice that could sideline him until conference play begins Sept. 23 versus Oklahoma — or beyond.

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According to the Waco Tribune, Rhule characterized the injury, which kept Williams out of the spring game, as “significant.”

“It was a unique injury in that he was just running and a guy kind of hit him and he didn’t even fall down and he hurt his shoulder,” Rhule said. “I wouldn’t expect to see him play maybe until conference or even after that. The doctors have tried to be patient with him and make sure he really heals. He has an NFL career ahead of him at some point, and I want to make sure he’s healed before he goes out there.”

Williams, a junior, has been very productive during his time at Baylor. With Shock Linwood in and out of the lineup in 2016, Williams led the Bears in carries and finished the year with 1,048 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a freshman in 2015, Williams was fourth on the team with 556 yards on just 88 carries — a 6.3-yard average. He also had three touchdowns.

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There isn’t a whole lot of depth behind Williams. JaMycal Hasty, a player Rhule said has “a terrific future,” is slated to return. Hasty rushed for 623 yards and three scores last year. After Hasty, the team’s leading returning rusher is walk-on Wyatt Schrepfer (111 yards), so freshman Jonathan Lovett should be in line for some action early in his college career.

Baylor, coming off a 7-6 record in 2016, will play the first game of the Rhule era on Sept. 2 against Liberty.

For more Baylor news, visit SicEmSports.com.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!