AL.com’s Matt Cohen had brutal Auburn football injury updates on August 21 — revealing that the defensive trenches and the wide receiver position have been hit the hardest by the injury bug in fall camp.
“Freeze’s team isn’t going to start the season healthy,” Cohen prefaced before saying, “It was already facing a few injuries as fall camp began and returning to live practice with pads was always going to cause a few more additions to the injury report. And as things stand, Auburn’s injuries have hit the wide receivers the hardest. Key players are also banged up in the linebacking group and defensive line.”
Camden Brown, Malcolm Johnson Jr., Koy Moore, and Nick Mardner are among the wideouts who are dealing with ailments that could open the door for underclassmen in the 2023 season’s opening weeks. Ole Miss transfer Austin Keys has been absent as well, giving North Texas transfer Larry Nixon III the chance to shine with expanded opportunities per Cohen, though when Keys returns he is expected to be joined by Cam Riley and Eugene Asante as the top snapp-getters at the MIKE position. Jalen McLeod is the key absence at the JACK position. Elijah McAllister and pleasant fall camp surprise Stephen Sings V could have opportunities fall in line there.
Auburn football newcomers missing key chances in fall camp
In new systems on both sides of the ball, players have to show they’re ready now; and that’s not exactly easy when they’re not on the field. Without that opportunity, teammates could take advantage and leave one in the dust.
That happening can now lead to an immediate transfer, and typically does. No one is saying that’s happening now. Thus far, though, it’s a shame for guys like Keys, McLeod, and Mardner that their second, or in Mardner’s case, third, acts will get off on the wrong foot.