SEC West’s five-most important players returning from injury

NCAA Football: Ole Miss at Tulane

Compared to the SEC East, the West stayed relatively healthy in 2013, with few season-ending injuries. However, the ones who were injured were primarily A-list starters.

Here are five important SEC West players returning from injuries in 2014:

Josh Holsey, DB, Auburn: Auburn needs secondary help, and Josh Holsey returns to give it to them. Holsey was injured during an October practice and missed the remainder of the season. He was the Tigers’ starter at both safety and dime back throughout the first half of the season. Holsey is a nice talent and should be an asset in 2014.

CJ Johnson, DE, Ole Miss: In an injury-filled season for Ole Miss, CJ Johnson had season-ending ankle surgery last October, after he broke his right fibula during last year’s spring practice. The former five-star product is looking for a huge 2014 season, and he’s made 7.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss in really two years.

Justin Malone, OL, Mississippi State: Following an all-freshman season in 2012, Justin Malone missed the remainder of the season after injuring his foot in the season opener. Now, with the absence of Gabe Jackson along the interior line, Malone’s versatility could land him a starting job at either guard or tackle, and he’s a key cog in MSU’s overall veteran offensive unit.

Aaron Morris, OL, Ole Miss: Ole Miss is set up for success, but one of the biggest question marks is the offensive line. Morris suffered an ACL tear during the first week of the season that caused him to miss basically the entire season. Morris was a Sophomore All-American honorable mention in 2012, and he’s a massive piece to the Rebels’ championship hopes.

Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, Texas A&M: The Aggies need that go-to receiver, and it just may be former top prospect Ricky Seals-Jones. RSJ injured his knee early and missed the remainder of the season. He’s a fantastic looking prospect who ignited Kyle Field with his 71-yard touchdown reception against Rice. He’s a physical receiver who’s explosive and can make the tough catch. Seals-Jones is a big piece of Kevin Sumlin’s offense in 2014.

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

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  • It seemed like a lot of teams in the SEC had a lot of injuries. Ole Miss played LSU with pretty much it’s second team defense last year and by the end of the year Ole Miss was really hurting on offense and defense. Also, LT Laremy Tunsil is returning from an injury. He didn’t play in the Egg Bowl or Ole Miss’ bowl game.