Auburn Looks to Recover from Injury Bug Bite Before Texas A&M
The number of injuries for Auburn have slowly built up since the beginning of fall practice and has hurt depth in many areas of the team. Auburn will head into their first SEC matchup against Texas A&M with many question marks.
The most notable injuries for Auburn include Seth Williams, Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. and Derrick Brown. All three have sustained their injuries in the past two weeks and hope to be back for this weekend’s game.
Williams suffered a shoulder injury when he caught a 40-yard pass against Tulane. He caught the game winning touchdown against Oregon and was one of freshman quarterback Bo Nix’s top targets through the first two weeks of the season but was unavailable against Kent State.
Without Williams, receivers Eli Stove and Will Hastings have filled in as Nix’s favorite targets. Stove has 13 receptions and a touchdown in the past two games while Hastings has hauled in six passes and a touchdown.
Wanogho’s injury is less severe and there is less known about it. He was dressed out against Kent State, but did not see any action on the field. His replacement against Kent State, Bailey Sharp, suffered a knee injury which will sideline him for six weeks following a procedure.
If Wanogho is unable to go against Texas A&M, there will be a major shift on the offensive line as Jack Driscoll will have to move to left tackle to allow Brodarious Hamm to play his stronger position at right tackle.
Derrick Brown left the game against Kent State early with an upper body contusion according to Coach Gus Malzahn. He is considered day-to-day along with fellow defensive lineman Derrick Hall who suffered an injury late against Kent State.
Gary Walker was forced into the game during the second half while Brown remained out for precautionary reasons. Walker has only recorded six tackles in his three years at Auburn and would play an important role at Kyle Field if Derrick Brown cannot go against the Aggies.
Two players who last played against Oregon but could return to play against Texas A&M are D.J. Williams and Shedrick Jackson. Williams is a freshman running back who will make an impact on special teams and pass blocking in the backfield. Jackson is a great run blocking receiver and having him back will help with the run game on the outside.
Anthony Schwartz has appeared in all three games this season while sporting a cast on his left hand after surgery during fall camp. He made a bobbling catch for his first reception of the season against Kent State. He will have some protection on his hand going forward, but the hope is to be able to move on from the large club to something on the back of his hand instead of covering his palm.
In Tuesday's practice, Seth Williams, Prince Tega Wanogho, Shedrick Jackson and Derrick Brown all practiced. Malzahn was confident that they are trending in the right direction, but they will still be day-to-day.
Those who are day-to-day will likely be game time decisions. It will be important to Auburn for every single player to be ready to go if they are called upon. Depth at several positions were a concern during the preseason and it will be tested in the coming weeks.
Auburn travels to Kyle Field to face Texas A&M on Saturday at 2:30 CDT. CBS will televise the game.