Jim Harbaugh Says RB Chris Evans Won't Play for Michigan in 2019

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl / Joe Robbins

Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed on Sunday that running back Chris Evans will be inactive for the upcoming season. Evans, who was given a one-year suspension in February for academic reasons, had been hoping he could reduce his suspension to six months. That's no longer in the cards.

"Chris Evans is suspended for the year," Harbaugh said point-blank, via the Detroit News.

A former 4-star recruit out of Ben Davis high school in Indianapolis, Evans was set to enter his entering his senior season, and had been a solid all-purpose back during his time in Ann Arbor. While getting limited work, he put together 423 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground last season, amounting to 5.2 yards per carry.

He was expected to take on a bigger role this year now that lead back Karan Higdon has departed for the NFL. Evans' absence will be a big blow to the Maize and Blue's running back depth chart, which is already pretty thin.

At the very least, Evans' suspension shows that Michigan isn't willing to sweep academic shortcomings under the rug. This is an encouraging sign after the recent academic scandal at a certain state university below the Mason-Dixon line.

With Harbaugh and Co. keeping Evans off the field in the upcoming season, there will be even more pressure on incumbent quarterback Shea Patterson to put on a show in 2019.