Injuries Mounting for Tigers

Tommy Tuberville discusses the health of his football team heading back into SEC play as the Tigers play Ole Miss on the road.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville knew it wouldn't be easy for his team to stay healthy through a 12-week regular season schedule without an off week. Those injuries are starting to mount up for his Tigers, who are ranked seventh in both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll released on Sunday.

With starting center Joe Cope out for several weeks with an injured knee, the new starting center Jason Bosley also went down with a knee injury against Tulane. Right tackle Jonathan Palmer was then moved to center and Antwoin Daniels played with the first-team at right tackle.

"We still don't know," Tuberville says about the Bosley situation. "We won't know until tomorrow until the MRI. He's hobbling around pretty good so it doesn't look good for him, but we'll know more Tuesday."

Linebackers Kevin Sears and Tray Blackmon, who both missed significant action with suspensions earlier this season, may not play against Ole Miss on Oct. 28.

"Tray Blackmon went out with a hip flexor and also has tonsilitis so he won't be with us for a few days if at all this week," Tuberville says. "Kevin Sears with a hamstring probably will not play. He got hit pretty good in the third quarter.

"Some injuries are starting to catch up with us, but young guys are going to have to come in and pick up where they left off because nobody is going to feel sorry for you. You just have to keep going and try to get better."

With three tailbacks either out of action or limited against the Green Wave, freshman Ben Tate stepped in and rushed for 156 yards on 26 carries.

"We were able to run the ball fairly well holding Kenny Irons out. Brad Lester only played the first drive," Tuberville notes. "Those guys will be ready to go this week. And also Carl Stewart should be back ready to go."


Junior offensive lineman Leon Hart played well in extensive action against the Green Wave, Tuberville says. Antwoin Daniels played well at right tackle when Palmer moved to center, the coach adds.

Right guard Tim Duckworth and safety Aairon Savage were also held out of action against Tulane, but Duckworth will be back versus the Rebels. Savage, with a stinger, will not likely be available, the head coach notes. Savage hasn't recovered the strength in his left arm yet.

Leon Hart got the start for Duckworth and Tristan Davis started the game in place of Savage.

"We're proud of the win we had yesterday," Tuberville says. "That was probably our best offensive outing by far since the first game of the season. We executed, our offensive line did a good job considering we had some new faces."


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