Another injury depletes Iowa's backfield

Iowa suffered yet another tough blow to its depleted backfield when head coach Kirk Ferentz announced Tuesday that freshman running back Barkley Hill will miss the 2012 season after suffering a knee injury during Saturday’s practice.

Hill will have ACL reconstruction surgery later this week, a similar procedure to the one administered to freshman defensive back Ruben Lile last week. Lile will also miss the upcoming campaign.

Damon BullockDamon Bullock is one of the few bodies left in Iowa's depleted backfield.

Losing the 6-foot, 210-pound Iowa native is just the latest blow to a Hawkeyes backfield that has suffered through a tumultuous offseason.

The Big Ten's second-leading rusher in 2011, Marcus Coker, transferred to Stony Brook, while potential starter Jordan Canzeri suffered a torn ACL and will likely miss the 2012 season.

De'Andre Johnson was dismissed from the team after two run-ins with police, so backfield depth in Iowa City has been a major concern throughout the offseason for Ferentz and new offensive coordinator Greg Davis.

Class of 2012 product Greg Garmon ran into some off-the-field trouble as well, but his presence is crucial now as the offensive staff will have to rely on him and Damon Bullock this fall to carry the slack. The question is whether they can give the Hawkeyes some semblance of Big Ten-quality production, especially against the league's better run defenses. Nate Meier, a 6-2, 235-pound athlete who has been practicing at running back because of the team's lack of depth, could also see his timeline accelerated, as well as true freshman Michael Malloy and junior walk-on Andre Dawson.

Hawkeye fans should expect to see Davis put games into the hands of quarterback James Vandenberg more often than not this fall, perhaps utilizing the short-passing game to serve as a de facto run game, at least early in the season.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

Upcoming Games

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Pittsburgh +4 -110

Baltimore -4 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Minnesota +6.5 -110

Green Bay -6.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

NY Jets +20 -110

Kansas City -20 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -3 -120

Detroit +3 -120

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Tennessee -7 -110

Cincinnati +7 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas +2.5 -110

Cleveland -2.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

New England +4.5 -110

Buffalo -4.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 1:00 PM

LA Rams -3.5 -110

Miami +3.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 4:05 PM

LA Chargers -3.5 -110

Denver +3.5 -110

@

Nov 1st, 4:25 PM

San Francisco +3 +100

Seattle -3 +100

@

Nov 1st, 4:25 PM

New Orleans -4 -110

Chicago +4 -110

@

Nov 1st, 8:20 PM

Dallas +11 -115

Philadelphia -11 -115

@

Nov 2nd, 8:15 PM

Tampa Bay -12.5 -110

NY Giants +12.5 -110

@

Nov 5th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay 0 -110

San Francisco 0 -110

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Carolina +10 -123

Kansas City -10 -123

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Detroit +1.5 -110

Minnesota -1.5 -110

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Chicago +6.5 -110

Tennessee -6.5 -110

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Seattle -1.5 +100

Buffalo +1.5 +100

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Denver +3.5 -110

Atlanta -3.5 -110

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Baltimore -4 -110

Indianapolis +4 -110

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

Houston -4 -110

Jacksonville +4 -110

@

Nov 8th, 1:00 PM

NY Giants +3.5 -110

Washington -3.5 -110

@

Nov 8th, 4:05 PM

Las Vegas +2.5 -120

LA Chargers -2.5 -120

@

Nov 8th, 4:25 PM

Miami +5 -110

Arizona -5 -110

@

Nov 8th, 4:25 PM

Pittsburgh -9.5 -111

Dallas +9.5 -111

@

Nov 8th, 8:20 PM

New Orleans +4 -110

Tampa Bay -4 -110

@