Injuries The Story Of The Day For Tigers

Wednesday's first full pad practice saw several players get banged up, one starter back, and also brought unfortunate news on Aairon Savage.

Auburn, Ala.--Lightning in the area caused Auburn's first full pad practice to be shortened by 20 minutes, but it didn't keep the energy level down as the Tigers worked for nearly two hours on a hot and humid evening.

Despite the excitement of the first full contact day, the news was not good on the injury front as several players missed the workout with one done for the season.

"We had a couple of guys beat up a little bit, but nothing serious," Tuberville said. "Aairon Savage went good. Dr. (James) Andrews worked on him this morning and operated on him. He said it looked good for him, not for the rest of the season, but the opportunity to heal well. That was good news."

Elsewhere several linemen got banged up as senior center Jason Bosley left with what Tuberville described as a twisted back. In his absence Ryan Pugh worked with the first team offense at center. With Lee Ziemba still out with a bruised and twisted knee, that moved Mike Berry to the first team right tackle with Andrew McCain running with the ones on the left side. Tuberville said Ziemba was just held out and was fine. Defensive tackle Zach Clayton got poked in the eye and left practice, but should be fine.

There was some positive injury news on Wednesday as junior defensive end Antonio Coleman practiced for essentially the first time after missing the first four days because of a strained hamstring. While he didn't participate in all areas, he worked in 7-on-7 drills and looked good running around.

The lightning kept the team from getting in full team work, but there was still plenty of contact beginning early as the entire team gathered for a three-on-three session. There were some hits delivered as Jermarcus Ricks got through to smash Terrell Zachery on the first play. Zachery would eventually score on fourth down with a dive over the top just across the line.

Jake Ricks takes down Terrell Zachery.

With Savage out for the season, the process began on Monday to find depth at the cornerback position behind projected starters Jerraud Powers and Walter McFadden. Powers said the toughest part for him is getting over the emotional part of having his best friend out for the season, but that's part of life as a football player.

"With Aairon being out it gives a younger guy and opportunity," Powers said. "They are stepping up and trying their best right now. It's unfortunate for Aairon coming from the situation he's been in. He's a heck of a player plus he's my roommate. It's a big blow for us, but that happens in football. Injuries happen every day so we just have to game-plan off that and move on."

Behind the two first-teamers at the moment a solid group of young players has stepped up to this point. Freshmen Neiko Thorpe, D'Antoine Hood, Harry Adams and Drew Cole have all shown up well as has sophomore Ryan Williams. Powers said he's been pleased with how they have played to this point.

"They are competing," Powers said. "The last couple of days have been a big transition from the first day. The first day they were out here sort of lackadaisical because it was new to them, but today you see D Hood and Neiko and those guys out there competing because they know they have to step up. It's not even an option for them right now. I like it, but we've still got a long way to go."

The Tigers will have the first of four two-a-day practices on Thursday with practices in the morning and afternoon. Full pad practices will be early with shorts and shoulder pads in the afternoon. Tuberville said both will be scaled down somewhat in length to around an hour and a half each with the first workout at 7:45 a.m. and the afternoon scheduled for 4:45. Times are subject to change.

Quindarius Carr makes a great diving grab during Wednesday's practice.

Tiger Ticket Extra:

The defensive line continues to perform well. With the changes up front on offense that group struggled at times in one-on-one situations...The unstoppable force continues to be Antoine Carter. Working against Ryan Pugh on Wednesday he beat his fellow sophomore twice with relative ease, the first loss of the week for Pugh....In the passing game Tim Hawthorne looks like he's adjusted well to the inside position and could be a surprise for the Tigers this fall. He went one-on-one with Zac Etheridge and made the play...Speaking of Etheridge if his play this preseason is any indication he's in for a very big sophomore year after playing very well as a redshirt freshman...Another wide receiver doing well is Mario Fannin. He made several nice plays including an over the shoulder grab for a touchdown in one-on-one drills.

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