Johnson, a redshirt freshman from Ann Arbor, Mich., suffered a left knee injury while covering a kickoff in the third quarter of the Wolverines' 59-9 win. According to coach Brady Hoke, Johnson suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2013 season.
"You just hate it for Drake, but he's as tough as anyone on this football team, and he will make it back from this," Hoke said in an official statement. "He worked so hard through his redshirt season and had a really good camp in backup in Fitz [Toussaint], not to mention he was a really valuable special teams player for us."
Johnson recorded nine rushing yards on two carries in his Michigan debut, adding a tackle on special teams. He was listed as the No. 2 running back on the depth chart, behind Toussaint but ahead of true freshman Derrick Green, a five-star member of the Wolverines 2013 recruiting class.
Since Johnson redshirted the 2012 season, he will likely apply for a medical waiver from the NCAA so as not to lose a year of eligibility. Historically speaking, the NCAA will rules in favor of players in Johnson's position -- suffering a season-ending injury after less than a full game of action -- more often than not.
Michigan hosts Notre Dame on Saturday night, the kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.