AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn football already knew it would be without one of its star players from last season in the Iron Bowl. But two top Tigers from this season might not play.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday afternoon junior running back Kamryn Pettway would not play against No. 1 Alabama this Saturday. Malzahn hinted at that possibility last Thursday night, and he confirmed it Tuesday.
Of the multiple defensive players who picked up injuries in last week’s ULM game, senior linebacker Tre’ Williams and sophomore defensive back Jeremiah Dinson are the biggest concerns.
“As of right now, I’d say everybody’s got a good chance of playing,” Malzahn said. “There’s two or three that are possibilities. Once it gets to probably Thursday, I’ll have a better idea. Tre Williams, we’ll see where he’s at, and we’ll see where Jeremiah Dinson’s at later in the week. But I expect everybody else to be ready.”
Williams reinjured his right shoulder against ULM last weekend. The senior, who ranks second on the team with 5 tackles per game this season, missed some time earlier this year with a similar injury.
Auburn senior safety Tray Matthews, who dealt with shoulder injuries earlier in his career, sounded positive about Williams’ chances to play in the Iron Bowl.
“I was talking to him earlier asking him about all that stuff,” Matthews said Tuesday. “He’s in great spirits. He’s already down about the injury, but you just keep being down on yourself while you’re already hurt, it’s not going to help anything.
“You just have to stay positive, keep getting treatment and hopefully he’ll be out there Saturday, which I think he will. He’ll be fine.”
Dinson, Auburn’s starting nickel back, suffered a concussion in the third quarter against ULM. Auburn will test him throughout the week to see if he will be available Saturday against Alabama.
If Dinson doesn’t play, Matthews said he’s confident in the nickel abilities of sophomore Javaris Davis, who has returned from injury to play a third cornerback role this season. Davis forced a fumble and had an interception in the third quarter of the ULM game.
“It’ll be a tough loss, but we finally have Javaris Davis back, which he plays [nickel] and a whole bunch of positions,” Matthews said. “There won’t be any drop off, because you all saw what he did last week.”