Lineman Wants to Get Physical Again

Sophomore Josh Thompson discusses his recovery from an injury.

Auburn, Ala.--After an impressive spring followed by an equally impressive preseason, Josh Thompson was pushing for a starting job at both noseguard and defensive tackle.

However, an opening night injury, the dreaded high ankle sprain, has severely limited his ability to contribute to the 2005 Auburn team's defense.

Thompson was held out of Sunday's practice as he continues to rehab the ankle and he isn't sure if he will practice on Tuesday after the Tigers took the day off on Monday. However, he is optimistic he will be able to contribute on Saturday evening when the Tigers play the Arkansas Razorbacks following a week off from competition.

The defensive lineman is going through two-a-days, and sometimes three-a-days, on treatments to get the ankle ready so he can participate in what he expects will be a fun game against the Razorbacks, who are known for their physical running attack.

"It's all about who is tougher in the middle," Thompson says. "We love these types of games."

In addition to rehabbing his ankle with treatments that include a lot of time on an exercise bike, the sophomore has another part of his body he is trying to get well. "At first it was my ankle," he notes. "Now it is my Achilles tightening up. I should be fine. I am hoping for the best."

Auburn will be trying to improve to 3-0 in the SEC on Saturday vs. the Razorbacks, a divisional opponent the Tigers will be looking to defeat for a third straight season.

Thompson notes it has been tough not being able to be a contributor while trying to get his ankle well. He has tried to come back several times since opening night, but hasn't been able to move normally.

"I have never had a high ankle sprain before," he notes. "It is probably the worst injury I have ever had."

Josh Thompson was a key backup player for the Tigers last season.

The lineman remembers that he was injured when his ankle was hit in two spots at the same time after he had planted his foot as he was trying to reverse directions because he had run a slant away from the direction Georgia Tech was running its play.

Thompson notes that he is eager to contribute to a defensive unit that has made strides since the opener vs. Tech. "The defense is playing a lot better," he says.

"Everybody is starting to play together," he adds. "Like Coach Gibbs (defensive coordinator David Gibbs) stresses, do your job. Everybody is starting to do their job better. We still have a long way to go, but everybody is filling in and believing in what Coach Gibbs is doing."


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