Auburn, Ala.--After dressing out for the trip to Atlanta for the season opener against Louisville Auburn true freshman quarterback Tyler Queen had surgery the following week to repair damage done during his junior year of high school at North Cobb (Ga.) High. First injuring his arm while playing baseball, Queen elected to rehab his arm and was able to play his senior season of football before enrolling at Auburn in January.
Still using rehab, Queen went through Auburn’s spring practice without problem, but this fall the discomfort in his elbow returned. That led to his surgery last week with Dr. James Andrews to repair his elbow, something that position coach and Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said is a setback, but the right decision to make now.
“Anytime a guy misses the whole fall, it hurts,” Lashlee said. “He had a good spring. He didn’t have it fixed and played his senior year. That was the best course of action then because we have the best team doctor in the country.
“He came here and had a good spring but then some things weren’t right. Was going to be on scout team and it just made sense to go get it fixed so he could be full speed in the spring moving forward.”
The positive for Queen is that he got the base offense down in the spring before having his surgery. That allowed him to get a feel for what Auburn’s offense is all about, making his transition back from injury next year a much easier one.
“Tyler has the mental foundation of what we’re doing so it is not foreign to him,” Lashlee said. “We just felt like, look right now he’s not someone we’re counting on this season but he’s someone that can help us in the future. Let’s get him healthy so in the spring and summer of next year he can be competing to help us.”
Without Queen available to help in the event of an emergency this season Auburn has turned to a familiar face as the third quarterback behind Jeremy Johnson and Sean White, senior Jonathan Wallace. Splitting time at quarterback and wide receiver, Wallace is a valuable option to have should he be needed this season for the Tigers.
Auburn will take on LSU this weekend in its SEC opener with the kickoff slated for 2:30 p.m. on CBS.