Boca Raton - Florida Atlantic's depth at running back has taken two major hits before the opening of preseason camp.

It is likely senior Jeff Blanchard and junior Willie Floyd will both miss the upcoming season due to injuries, coach Howard Schnellenberger said Wednesday.

Blanchard tore a ligament in his knee just days into spring practice, and he is not expected to recover quickly enough to play this season, effectively ending his career.

Floyd, who played sparingly in the spring due to an injury, tore his pectoral muscle in July while lifting weights as part of the team's summer workouts and is also expected to miss this season.

Blanchard had entered spring as first on the depth chart at tailback, with Floyd behind him. Their injuries prompted FAU to try backup fullback Alfred Morris in that position, and Morris shined, earning the starting spot.

Floyd, who is from Hollywood and played at Chaminade-Madonna, was expected to Morris's backup and also help handle kick return duties.

Injuries have plagued Blanchard, who is from Delray Beach and transferred to FAU after two years at Garden City Community College in Kansas. He played in four games in 2007 before breaking has ankle and missing the rest of the season.

Sophomore Avionne Rolle will enter preseason camp, which starts Sunday, as No. 2 on the depth chart.

Rolle (5-10, 190) had a solid spring. Redshirt freshman Michael Barasch (5-9, 200) will also get snaps.

"We have good players there, but we lost a lot of experience," Schnellenberger said.

One of the first priorities of the preseason will be finding kick returners. "We will hold auditions for that first thing," Schnellenberger said.