Earle sustained a Jones fracture in practice "a couple of days ago," according to Saban.
A Freshman All-SEC selection as a return specialist last season, Earle was expected to compete for a starting job this fall.
"He was doing a really, really good job, having a really good camp,'' Saban said. "Probably the best he's been on a consistent basis. Just saw a guy that grew up and was playing with a lot of confidence. We'll miss him for a while.''
Earle missed four games because of a leg injury last season, returning for the College Football Playoff. He caught 12 passes for 148 yards on the season.
Saban told reporters that "hopefully" Earle would be back by Oct. 1.
Alabama opens the season at home on Sept. 3 against Utah State.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report