Alabama has announced that starting wide receiver DeAndrew White and running back Dee Hart are out for the season with knee injuries they suffered Saturday night in a 33-14 win over Ole Miss.
“The MRI indicated that both Dee and DeAndrew sustained knee injuries that will require surgery and they will be out for the year,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in a statement released by the athletics department Monday.
So what does this mean for the Crimson Tide?
White was fourth on the team with eight receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He went down after the third play in Saturday’s game and was replaced by true freshman Amari Cooper, who had his coming out party with eight catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
Cooper, a former four-star prospect, leads the team now with 17 receptions for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Cooper will likely get the starting nod alongside Kevin Norwood and Christion Jones.
Hart, who tore his ACL last summer, injured his knee after fielding a punt return in the second half, but it didn’t appear serious because he was able to jog off the field without any help.
Then after the game, he tweeted: “Easy with the rumors, I’m A1.” (The tweet has since been deleted.)
Hart, who was third-string running back behind Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon, is a fearless runner despite being one of the smallest guys on the team at 5-9, 190.
“But he plays like he’s 6-2, 230,” Lacy said of his teammate a couple weeks ago. “If a defensive lineman comes through and he has to block him, most likely he’s not going to cut him. He’s going to try to hit him right in the facemask. That says a lot about him and his character.”
Hart rushed for 88 yards on 17 carries this season and before getting hurt Saturday, had two touches for 19 yards. He had also just recently earned punt return duties and in two games, returned four for 50 yards and was averaging 12.5 yards per return.
This is the second Alabama running back to go down, as the team lost Jalston Fowler to a season-ending knee injury a few weeks ago.
But if you’ve ever wondered why the Tide recruits so many running backs, now you know. True freshman Kenyan Drake, who has rushed for 126 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns so far this season, will likely see more playing time.
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