Injuries make Auburn's defense a work in progress
Of all the injuries Auburn’s defense has suffered since fall camp started, none have been serious. That is the good news. The bad news is that the much needed reps that the players need hasn’t been happening. That, in turn, means Auburn’s depth at most positions is a work in progress. The injuries have left defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson scratching his head.
“It starts to make you think, we don’t need 11 (players), we need 22,” Johnson said after Thursday’s scrimmage.
“Our two deep is still a little bit murky right now,” said Johnson. “Hoping those will clear up in the next couple of days. Some of it is a good problem with guys fighting, competing for jobs. But you’d like for it to clear up.”
- CB Trovon Reed (hamstring) – Reed is making the transition from wide receiver to the secondary and will probably play field corner, backing up Jonathan Jones.
- CB Josh Holsey (knee) – Along with Jonathon Mincy, Holsey is one of two best corners on the team. He is coming off ACL surgery and is limited to a certain number of reps in practice.
- BS Derrick Moncrief (illness) – The JUCO transfer won the boundary safety job in the spring but Moncrief is actually behind sophomore Rudy Ford currently for the starting spot. An illness and dehydration sidelined Moncrief.
- DE LaDarius Owens (infection) – One of the two areas where Owens had surgery on (tibia or foot) developed an infection. He is on the list to replace Carl Lawson at defensive end.
- DE DaVonte Lambert (back spasms) – One of two Georgia Military College products. Lambert had spasms starting the third day of camp.
- DT Devaroe Lawrence (knee) – The other Georgia Military College product that missed time. He and Lambert are working into the defensive line rotation and hope to push Elijah Daniel, Gabe Wright, Montravius Adams and Owens.
- BS Markell Boston (ankle sprain) – Trying to get some playing time behind Moncrief and Ford, Boston hurt his lower right leg. He is wearing a walking boot.
- LB Khari Harding (wrist) – Harding hurt his wrist in the first fall camp scrimmage. Anthony Swain is the projected third linebacker behind Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost.
- CB Jonathon Mincy (shoulder) – Mincy will not to start against Arkansas because of his arrest for possession for marijuana.
- CB Stephen Roberts (hip pointer) – Johnson gave no indication when the freshman would be back.
- LB JaViere Mitchell (unspecified) – The sophomore is trying to be part of the Johnson’s two deep rotation.
The status of Owens, Roberts and Boston is unknown. All the other players have returned to practice.
The list doesn’t include defensive end Carl Lawson and Robenson Therezie. Lawson had surgery in the summer to repair a torn ACL. Thursday was the first time in fall camp that Johnson mentioned that Therezie was missing reps in practice. Johnson didn’t indicate if Therezie was hurt or not.