Starting Corners Back At Practice

Jonathan Wilhite discusses his wrist injury and return to practice.

Auburn, Ala.--Starting cornerback Jonathan Wilhite injured his wrist in Friday's scrimmage. Fortunately for the junior, the X-Rays came back negative and he should be full speed, or very close to it, for the opener in less than two weeks.

The junior returned to practice on Sunday evening with a club-type cast over his right hand and wrist.

The injury happened on a tackle of tailback Brad Lester and was diagnosed as a sprain.

"I think my hand got up in the shoulder pads," Wilhite explains. "He kept running so it twisted. Now I can't bring it all the way back. They like me to keep something on it just to keep it in place right now.

"I was taking on a block," he adds. "I reached my hand out and grabbed him and he kept going."

Wilhite says in Sunday's practice he was able to do everything he normally can with the exception of catching the ball. He also played without pain because the removable cast keeps his wrist stiff.

"I jammed with it today," he notes. "I don't think it's going to affect me. They wrapped it up, taped it up and made sure I didn't have any pain. The way they have it wrapped up I can't bring it up. I don't think it's going to effect me and I played real good (Sunday)."

He is also wearing a removable brace off the field.

"Monday will be the last day that I wear it," Wilhite notes. "They'll just be taping my wrist after that."

The other starting cornerback, David Irons, also returned to practice on Sunday.

"He showed up today and made a lot of big plays, but the David we know wasn't out there today," Wilhite says. "Once he gets back in a rhythm then he's going to be back." The two were teammates in junior college before starting last season at cornerback for the Tigers.

Wilhite is shown with his wrist and hand wrap at Sunday's practice.

With Washington State, featuring a passing offense, less than two weeks away the two will need to get back to 100 percent soon. The secondary is breaking in a new starter at free safety in freshman Aairon Savage, but Wilhite says the unit is getting better and will be ready.

"We're confident in each other," he says. "We're not trying to buy into any hype. We just want to go live up to what people are saying. The way Muschamp (defensive coordinator Will Muschamp) works us, it seems like when you think there is a day that can't get harder than this, the next gets harder.

"We work real hard at a fast pace," he adds. "We've got guys in the secondary ready to learn and moving around everywhere. I think we're going to get better and better as the season goes. That's our goal."

2006 Inside the Auburn Tigers Auburn Football Guide

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