Devontae Booker tore meniscus vs. Arizona, out for regular season

Utah running back Devontae Booker will undergo surgery on a torn meniscus Thursday afternoon and will miss at least the remainder of the regular season, his father, Ronnie Booker, confirmed to ESPN.

Booker suffered the injury during Utah's double-overtime loss at Arizona on Saturday. His father said he "tweaked his left knee" on a hard hit from the right side and suffered a bone bruise and "slight" tear of the meniscus. Ronnie Booker emphasized that the tear is not considered severe but that the healing process is estimated to last four to six weeks.

This sidelines Booker for the remainder of the regular season and a potential Pac-12 championship game. His father told ESPN that a return for a January bowl game could be possible, but anything earlier would probably be too aggressive.

"We were hoping that he may be able to play in the Senior Bowl, which is on Jan. 24," Ronnie Booker said.

Salt Lake City ESPN radio host Sean O'Connell first reported Booker's injury and surgery. Utah was not immediately available for comment.

Booker ranks third in the Pac-12 with 1,261 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He accounts for 70 percent of Utah's rushing production. Booker also has 318 receiving yards and ranks 10th nationally with 1,579 all-purpose yards.

Considered the most important component of the Utes' offense, Booker being out is a major blow with his team set to host UCLA on Saturday. Utah is tied with USC for first place in the Pac-12 South, while the Bruins are one game behind. The Utes need to win their final two games and have USC lose to either UCLA or Oregon to win the South division and earn a berth in the Dec. 5 title game.

Junior running back Joe Williams will take over as the No. 1 running back. Coach Kyle Whittingham said Monday that Williams could shoulder a "heavy workload" if Booker were out.

Williams is in his first year with the program after transferring from ASA College. He played one year at UConn in 2012 before transferring to the junior college in Brooklyn, New York. Williams rushed for 37 yards on seven carries after Booker was injured last week.

"He's a very capable back," Whittingham said. "He's faster [than Booker]. He's like a 10.5 100-meter guy. That's his real forte, his speed. He's not quite as big, maybe 10-12 pounds lighter than Devontae. But he's explosive and he's tough."

The loss puts the onus on senior quarterback Travis Wilson and the passing game, which has struggled in 2015. The Utes have the No. 11 pass offense in the conference with an average of 205.1 yards per game. Wilson has thrown for 1,806 yards, 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions with a 66.3 completion percentage.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.