Auburn’s defense has been a concern through the first six games, but the front seven could get an impact player back soon.
Defensive end Carl Lawson, who has been sidelined with a hip injury since the second half of Auburn’s season opener against Louisville, is off crutches and could return in the coming weeks, according to defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.
“He’s (Lawson) on schedule to come back,” Muschamp told reporters Wednesday night. “His intangible qualities are important to this football team.”
Muschamp also said that Lawson met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. Lawson traveled with the team last Thursday when the Tigers defeated Kentucky 30-27.
The sophomore was dominant in his only half of action this season. He had four tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss.
Auburn has struggled to pressure the quarterback without Lawson. The Tigers have just 10 total sacks through six games, and three of those came against a Kentucky team that has given up the second most sacks (19) in the SEC.
“We did play better up front,” Muschamp said. “That was the biggest improvement we needed to see in our football team.”
Auburn will face a tougher challenge in Arkansas on Saturday. The Razorbacks have only given up five sacks all season, which is the lowest mark in the SEC.
Lawson will not be able to help on the field this week, but when he does return it will be a big upgrade for Auburn’s defense.