Kalen DeBoer remains optimistic about Dillon Johnson’s chances to face Michigan.

The star running back for Washington was injured late in the Sugar Bowl win over Texas. Johnson was favoring his right leg and had to be helped off the field during the final minute all while visibly battling pain.

Fortunately, DeBoer was optimistic during Wednesday’s teleconference. According to DeBoer, there was no new injury on the play, and it’s something Johnson has played through this season.

“Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen him today. I know that we got back yesterday, and they continued to look at him and had a report with our training staff today,” said DeBoer. “This is just something he’s been working through for a couple months now and just played through it.

“There’s nothing as far as above and beyond what’s happened in the past. Just kind of throughout the game, he’d reaggravate it and shake it off and go back out there and play. I guess my thoughts is he’ll be ready to go. Obviously, it’s a quick week, quick turnaround, only seven days to get ready again.”

As for leading up to the game, DeBoer said the team will “be smart” in preparations involving Johnson. But, for now, the outlook includes Johnson facing the Wolverines in Houston.

“We’ll be smart with how we prepare, and I guess that’s my assumption not having talked to him today, but even knowing where we landed, as long as everything came out all right with everything, he was going to do everything he could to be on that football field next Monday,” DeBoer explained.

Michael Penix Jr. is the main key for Washington, but Johnson produced a dynamic season with over 1,100 rushing yards while averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He helps balance out the passing attack of the Huskies, and Washington will want to have him available with a national title on the line.