Alabama Football: What WR DeAndrew White's Injury Means for Tide

Jimmy McMurreyAnalyst IISeptember 30, 2012

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback A J McCarron (10) congratulates wide receiver DeAndrew White (2) after he scored a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the MIchigan Wolverines at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

Alabama redshirt sophomore wideout DeAndrew White suffered a right knee injury in the first quarter against Ole Miss, and this creates a scenario with mixed emotions for the Tide and their fans.

At this time there is no information beyond the fact that he will not return to the game against the Rebels, but more often than not knee injuries are more than one-week affairs. 

White is one of the Tide's leading receivers and is tied for second with seven receptions alongside receivers Kevin Norwood, Christion Jones and tight end Michael Williams. 

Quarterback A.J. McCarron has used White as a reliable target exclusively in the first half of games, as White hit the bench as soon as the game was out of hand. 

Among the Tide's top receivers, White has one of the lowest yards-per-reception averages, with 13.71 prior to the game against Ole Miss. 

The low average is terribly deceiving, however, as it is exactly what Alabama needs.

White has been the go-to target for McCarron when a catch must be made in traffic, especially in the middle of the field. 

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This is a role that was firmly held by former Tide receiver Darius Hanks between 2009 and 2011, and White is just a more athletic version of Hanks. 

Like Hanks, White seems to have hands of glue and runs some of the crispest routes on the team. Hanks' only downside was his lack of speed, which is actually one of White's strong suits. 

White is also a fantastic red-zone target, and has been since the 2011 showdown against Vanderbilt, when he made what looked like a four-foot vertical leap for a touchdown catch. 

White's injury is a tough blow for the Tide, regardless of the severity. Alabama's receiving corps is incredibly deep and talented, but it is quite young. White could be considered a veteran among the young crew. 

Again, it is not known how long White will be out, but the Tide do have a bye week after the Ole Miss game. If it's a minor sprain, then White just might be back in action for the likely blowout of Missouri.

A simple sprain is the best-case scenario, but after White was carted off to the locker room, a torn ACL seems quite likely. 

So, what does White's injury really mean for the Tide?

White's injury costs Alabama a reliable, experienced target for McCarron, but Nick Saban and Bama are phenomenal at finding something good in a bad situation. 

It's hard to say something good can come from a player's injury, but that's exactly what is going to happen. 

However unfortunate, White's injury may create an incredible opportunity for true freshman Amari Cooper. 

With one half still to play against Ole Miss, Cooper has already hauled in six receptions, two of them touchdowns.

There will be more on Cooper soon. 

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