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Jay Harbaugh discusses cutting Zach Charbonnet’s workload

A freshman running back receiving 33 carries in one game is pretty crazy, so limiting Charbonnet should bode well.

Rutgers v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan freshman running back Zach Charbonnet had a season-high 33 carries against Army last month. In the two games since then, he has carried the ball only seven times.

There is no question he was overworked against Army, but the Wolverines had no choice. Redshirt freshman Christian Turner missed a block, which led to a Shea Patterson fumble. Meanwhile, the only carry for redshirt freshman Ben VanSumeren led to a fumble. Senior Tru Wilson was still recovering from a broken hand.

That left Charbonnet as the only reliable running back for Michigan in the game. But now that Turner is improving and Wilson is back, albeit in a limited capacity, there is no need for Charbonnet to receive a high volume of work every game, especially given he is coming off a minor knee procedure and is a true freshman.

Running backs coach Jay Harbaugh met with the media Wednesday and discussed all this, as well as the key to avoiding giving guys a heavy workload like Charbonnet had against Army.

“You want to make sure that the guys behind are ready to play, and ready to play well at a high level,” Harbaugh said. “If you have that in your room, it comes to life on that Saturday that the (other) guys are ready to rock, then you can avoid that.”

Watch it all below.