AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson says a shoulder injury that limited his effectiveness in the SEC Championship Game won’t keep him out of the Peach Bowl.
Johnson injured his shoulder and ribs in the second half of Auburn’s 26-14 win over Alabama in the Iron Bowl last month. He only had 44 yards against Georgia in a SEC title game loss.
An Auburn fan tweeted at Johnson on Friday night, asking him if he would play in the Peach Bowl against UCF on New Year’s Day. Johnson responded to the fan with, “Of course.”
Of course https://t.co/KKV7dhFJr4
— Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) December 16, 2017
Earlier this week, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said he wasn’t sure if Johnson would play in the Tigers’ season finale.
“I know he’ll want to play,” Malzahn said. “He’s a great competitor. All of our guys will want to play. Our guys play for each other. So we’ll see where that goes. I’ll have a better idea once we get out to practice and move around and everything that goes with that.”
Auburn returned to practice Friday. The Tigers will practice from Sunday through Thursday before breaking for Christmas. Auburn will start practicing in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 28.
Johnson was named the SEC offensive player of the year by both the league’s coaches and The Associated Press last week. He led the SEC in rushing with 1,320 yards and finished ninth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
As a junior, Huntsville, Ala., native is eligible to declare early for the NFL draft. Johnson said after the SEC title game he hadn’t decided anything about his future beyond the bowl game.
Auburn will take on UCF on Monday, Jan. 1 in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Peach Bowl is set to kick off at 12:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. CT on ESPN.