A week after his best performance as a Ute, running back Chris Curry was forced to leave Saturday’s 35-7 win over San Diego State with an injury.

The 5-foot-11 junior was carried off the field after suffering a lower-body injury. Coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game he’d be forced to miss the rest of the year.

“Unfortunately, it looks like Chris Curry is gone for the season. It breaks my heart. He’s a great kid and a great teammate. All he does is work hard and doesn’t complain,” Whittingham said. “He’s a great leader for us. We’ll miss his leadership. Fortunately, he does have another year so we’ll get him back next year. That’s the big downer from the game.”

On Monday, when Whittingham met with reporters to discuss the Utes’ Week 4 opponent, he reiterated that Curry would be back for next season.

In the meantime, freshman tailback Jaylon Glover was elevated to RB3 status on the team’s depth chart.

“Jaylon Glover is going to have to elevate and be more of a factor,” Whittingham said. “It is too bad about Chris. He is a great teammate, a great kid. The silver lining is he will be back next year. Oddly enough, I guess he had that same injury in high school on the other ankle.

“We expect a full return to health and 100% ready to play football again. It does change the dynamic a little bit at running back. Tavion (Thomas) is still the lead guy but Jaylon Glover becomes more prominent. We will need to elevate either Ricky Parks or Charlie Vincent to be that fourth back, as you typically travel with four backs. This does put Jaylon Glover more to the forefront.”

Thomas has 50 carries for Utah this season; no other back has more than 18. He’s the lead guy, but Utah likes to utilize its depth in the run game. Thomas’ backup, Micah Bernard, has been a factor in both the run and pass games. He has 20 total touches for 188 yards in three games (11 carries for 91 yards, nine receptions for 97 yards). Curry had 81 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries before the injury. Glover had 18 carries for 87 yards and two scores to start his career.

Sticking on the injury front, Whittingham said he’s hopeful that both cornerback Clark Phillips III and linebacker Mohamoud Diabate will be available Saturday against Arizona State. Phillips left the SDSU game in the third quarter with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. Diabate sat out Saturday’s win after suffering an undisclosed injury in the win over Southern Utah the week prior. In his place, fifth-year junior Andrew Mata’afa got his first career start.