AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn’s injury-ravaged depth took a different kind of hit Wednesday morning.
Sophomore defensive end Byron Cowart underwent an emergency appendectomy Wednesday morning, and his status for the rest of the season is unknown. Derek Tyson of ESPN first reported the news of Cowart’s surgery.
Source: Auburn DE Byron Cowart is out for the season after having his appendix removed.
— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) November 16, 2016
Malzahn confirmed Tyson’s report of Cowart’s surgery, but he did not say if the Florida native would miss the rest of the season.
“That is correct,” Malzahn said on the SEC teleconference. “He did have an emergency appendectomy this morning. I don’t know the status for how long he’ll be out and all that. But it went well, and he’s recovering well.”
Cowart has been the backup for true freshman Marlon Davidson at Auburn’s traditional defensive end position this season, opposite “Buck” rush end Carl Lawson. In the last couple of weeks, Auburn moved true freshman defensive tackle Derrick Brown to defensive end in its second-string packages.
The sophomore came to Auburn in 2015 as the nation’s No. 3 recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite. He’s struggled to make much of a consistent impact, as he’s only recorded 6 tackles in each of his first two seasons with the Tigers.
Malzahn did not have any information on who would take Cowart’s spot in the depth chart, even if Brown moved to defensive end full-time for the rest of the regular season.
“(Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin) Steele will work through that with (defensive line coach Rodney) Garner,” Malzahn said. “Everything happened pretty quickly last night. We’ll be able to give some more information as the week goes on.”
Cowart joins a growing list of injury concerns for Auburn heading into its upcoming matchup with Alabama A&M (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network) and the Iron Bowl against No. 1 Alabama next week.
Auburn backs Kamryn Pettway, Stanton Truitt and Chandler Cox will not play against Alabama A&M due to injury. Starting quarterback Sean White played through an aggravated shoulder injury against Georgia and is questionable for this weekend. Wide receiver Marcus Davis will miss the rest of the regular season.