Auburn loses DB Bell for season to knee injury
Auburn cornerback T'Sharvan Bell is out for the season with a knee injury, a significant blow to an already struggling secondary.
Coach Gene Chizik said Sunday that Bell will have surgery during the upcoming week and won't be back for either the final two regular season games or a bowl.
Bell was injured in the second half of Auburn's 45-7 loss at Georgia Saturday when teammate Eltoro Freeman's helmet struck his left knee at the end of a play. The junior has started every game in an inexperienced secondary for the Tigers.
Bell is tied for fourth on the team with 45 tackles and tied for the team lead with two interceptions. He leads the Tigers with seven pass breakups.
''It's big in terms of leadership,'' Chizik said. ''It's big in terms of how productive he has been. I think his game over the last three weeks has improved, no question about it. But the level of leadership that he gives, that's probably one of the bigger hits we're going to take on the deal.''
Sophomore Ryan White is listed as his backup, but several other underclassmen have logged playing time, too.
Bell took over the starting job for the final two games last season. He returned an interception for a touchdown in the SEC championship game and had five tackles in the national title game.
The Tigers rank last in the Southeastern Conference in pass defense. They're allowing 215.9 yards a game through the air and have given up a league-high 17 passing touchdowns.