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October 1, 2012TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama wide receiver DeAndrew White and running back Dee Hart will miss the rest of the season with knee injuries, UA confirmed in a release Monday.
Hart had rushed for 88 yards this season on 21 carries, and also had taken over the Crimson Tide's punt return role. Hart had been Alabama's No.3 running back since a week two season-ending knee injury to another member of UA's backfield, Jalston Fowler. White had begun to earn the most significant playing time of his career this season. His eight receptions rank fourth on the team and his 105 receiving yards rank fifth, along with a pair of touchdowns.
"The bad thing about it is, neither guy even got hit in the game. Neither guy got touched, really," UA coach Nick Saban told a group of reporters at a meeting of the Birmingham Quarterback Club.
Saban described White and Hart both as "core" special teams players, also noting UA has lost more players for the season due to injury than any year since he became coach (2007). With Fowler and Hart both out for the year, freshman Kenyan Drake becomes Alabama's No.3 running back, and walk-on Ben Howell figures to move into the No.4 role, unless the coaching staff moves a player to running back from another position. Quarterback Blake Sims and H-back Brent Calloway are two players who have some prior experience at the running back position. Saban indicated that is a possibility.
"We're probably going to have to do something with somebody on our team who's not making much of a contribution where they are now," Saban added. "Brent Calloway would be an easy guy to do it with because he's played that position a lot, but we haven't made that decision yet."
For Hart, the injury is the second season-ending knee injury of his career. He missed last season with a knee injury as well. Hart and White make five Alabama players who have been lost for the season with injuries, joining Fowler (knee), wide receiver Chris Black (shoulder) and defensive back Jarrick Williams (knee).
Saban said he is hopeful that cornerback Deion Belue, who injured his shoulder against the Rebels, can return to practice next week.
Reach Chase Goodbread at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0196.