CHAPEL HILL — UNC senior fullback Devon Ramsay tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in Saturdays 42-10 victory over James Madison, the school announced.
Ramsay, who sat out the final nine games of last season as part of the NCAA investigation, started against JMU and had an 18-yard reception.
Curtis Byrd, a senior from Durham Riverside who started six games last season, is the only fullback listed on North Carolina's depth chart.
"We use a number of different personnel groups and formations that allow us to look like we've got two backs in the backfield," North Carolina head coach Everett Withers said. "I think we'll be fine. I feel like Curtis will be good for us in that role. We feel like we can get what we need to get done offensively and still do the things that we need to do with the personnel groups that we have."
UNC will pursue a sixth year of eligibility with the NCAA for Ramsay, who redshirted in 2007 with a shoulder injury and missed the final nine games of last season after being declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA as part of the investigation into academic misconduct at North Carolina. Three months later, an appeal engineered by former NC Supreme Court justice Robert Orr restored Ramsay's eligibility for this season.
Quarterback Bryn Renner, who learned of the severity of Ramsay's injury Monday morning, was visibly upset.
"The kid can't catch a break," Renner said. "I feel for him. I really didn't know the severity of the injury because we don't get the injury report. It's killing me right now."
Withers said the university would try to get Ramsay a shot at another football season through a hardship waiver, since his original redshirt in 2007 was injury-related. Ramsay played in only three games that year.
"That's in the early stages," Withers said. "We've talked very generically about it. We just want to make sure he's OK and then we'll pursue that as it comes up."