AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn has had more than its fair share of injuries and attrition in the secondary.
Auburn is hoping to get Davis back for Ole Miss/Todd Van Emst photo
But defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is hoping to get some of those players back during the Tigers’ off-week before Ole Miss visits Jordan-Hare Stadium Oct. 5.
“In the secondary in particular, we are just razor thin with injuries,” Johnson said during a pre-recorded segment of Tiger Talk Thursday night. “We hope we are going to get some guys back this week because we need to rotate in every area, not just the defensive line.”
Two players that could return this week are cornerbacks Chris Davis and Jonathan Jones. Davis missed the last two games with an ankle injury suffered in the Arkansas State game.
Jones has yet to play this season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his ankle in August.
“We’ve got to get some of those guys healthy because I don’t think we can make it down through the SEC track without some better depth in the secondary,” Johnson said.
“Our two backup corners have been just outstanding with Mincy and Ryan White,” Johnson said. “We’ve been able to play Kamryn Melton just a little bit. That’s going to be valuable for him down the road.
“Josh Holsey has always been available to play inside or outside.”
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***Johnson wants better pass-rush overall, from the base front four and when he brings extra defenders on a blitz. Johnson is counting on improved pass rush from a healthier Dee Ford and more experienced group of freshmen.
***Johnson is pleased with the rotation at middle linebacker with Jake Holland and Kris Frost. He said Will linebacker Cassanova McKinzy is his most productive linebacker but still making too many mistakes. Justin Garrett should be able to help at Will linebacker as he improves from his injury and learns the position better.
***Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said it will be a “by-committee” group of players that will replace Jaylon Denson, who was lost for the season after a knee injury. He mentioned Brandon Fulse, C.J. Uzomah, Melvin Ray and Tony Stevens need to step up.
***Lashlee said Auburn’s offensive line had a “really good” game against LSU and were very physical from the first play of the game. Lashlee praised all five of the starters individually but said we’ll see more of Avery Young and Shon Coleman.
***Lashlee said running back Tre Mason was one of the players that took a leadership role with the team at halftime of the LSU game.
***Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Mason got half of his 132 yards against LSU after contact.
***Malzahn said Stevens was a player they thought could play early as a true freshman when he was being recruited but a hamstring injury limited Stevens during preseason practice. He said Stevens has playmaking ability and we’ll see more of him later this season.
***Malzahn said that he and his staff will spend the next couple of days on the road recruiting.
***Auburn practiced Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week. The players will get the next two days off before returning Sunday afternoon.