Linebacker DePriest to miss rest of spring practice due to fractured foot

Kevin Connell

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Inside linebacker Trey DePriest is out for the remainder of the spring with a fractured foot, head coach Nick Saban said Wednesday.

“Trey DePriest had a stress fracture in his foot,” Saban said. “He might have hurt it a little worse in the scrimmage [on Saturday].”

The injury was first reported by ESPN.com’s Chris Low Wednesday afternoon.

DePriest, Alabama’s signal caller on defense last year, started 13 of 14 games and was second on the team in tackles last with 59.

Saban said DePriest had a choice on playing with the injury through the spring, but opted to have surgery instead.

“Rather than try to get him to continue to go through the spring, which was a possibility, he just decided to go ahead and fix it before it got bad,” Saban said. “It’s a stress fracture, so it will take less time to heal, and he’ll have a better chance at a good recovery.”

DePriest worked on the stationary bike in Wednesday’s practice alongside injured wide receiver Kevin Norwood and cornerback John Fulton, who have yet to participate in spring practice due to toe injuries.

Player position changes

After practicing at defensive back for much of the spring, sophomore Dee Hart is back playing primarily at running back.

“We kind of put him back on offense for a while, and I think we’re going to take a look at him there and as a returner right now,” Saban said.

However, Saban said Hart may still see playing time on defense in the future, if needed.

“Dee Hart knows enough about playing Star that if we needed him to play it next year, we could develop him and he could do it,” Saban said.

Sophomore Cyrus Jones, who has also practiced with the defensive backs this spring after playing as a wide receiver last season, is transitioning into becoming a full-time defensive player.

“The first couple weeks out there we did, it felt weird because he used to be out there next to me running routes with me,” wide receiver Kenny Bell said. “But he took ownership of the position he’s in and learned it and has come out there and competed every day.”

Sophomore Christion Jones, the third offensive player from last season to practice with the defensive backs this spring, continues to split time on defense and as a wide receiver.

All three players “hit the wall a little bit mentally” coming back from spring break, but have done a nice job overall in picking up on the finer points at defensive back, Saban said.

Love out indefinitely with concussion

Nose guard Wilson Love was not at practice Wednesday because of a concussion sustained in Monday’s practice.

“Until his concussion scores get where they need to be, he’ll probably be out,” Saban said.

The injury is a minor setback for Love, who is competing for the starting job at nose guard with Brandon Ivory and Darren Lake this spring.