AUBURN, Ala. — After re-injuring his shoulder in the program’s worst offensive performance since 2012, Auburn starting quarterback Sean White seems like a lock to sit out the Tigers’ home finale this Saturday against FCS opponent Alabama A&M.
But Auburn football coach Gus Malzahn didn’t rule out the possibility of White getting back on track this weekend.
“We’ll see, it’s going to be a day-to-day, week-to-week deal,” Malzahn said Tuesday. “I’m not ready to make a call one way or another with him. But we’ll play him when he’s healthy, and we’ll see how that goes this week. I’ll give an update later in the week on that.”
White will practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Auburn will evaluate the status of his throwing shoulder, which he originally injured against Ole Miss. Malzahn will speak to the media again Wednesday during the weekly SEC teleconference.
“We’ll go out to practice today and tomorrow, and we’ll see the health of Sean first,” Malzahn said. “I think that’s where it starts. Then you go the next step.”
White aggravated the shoulder injury early in a 13-7 loss to Georgia in which he completed just 6-of-20 passes for 27 yards. Auburn didn’t get a first down in the entire second half.
On Sunday night, White admitted he should have told his coaches that his injury worsened during the game. Malzahn said he didn’t have a conversation with White about his shoulder during the game.
“I would have liked to known if he was worse,” Malzahn said. “It would have been good to go… I think he said it the other night: we’re moving forward, he’ll communicate better. He’s a tough guy and he’s trying to win a game. It’s a one-score game and you felt like he could do it or he would have said something.”
White’s teammates said they looked at the quarterback’s decision to play through injury as a sign of toughness.
“He’s just a soldier, he loves to compete and we knew he was going to try to give us the best chance to win,” junior safety Tray Matthews said. “He was banged up a lot. We could tell a little bit here and there, but you know, we could only do what we could do.”
If White doesn’t play against Alabama A&M, junior John Franklin III or senior Jeremy Johnson would vie for the starting job.
Franklin struggled running the entire offense in the first half of the Vanderbilt game as White sat out with his shoulder injury. Johnson has not taken a snap at quarterback since the Clemson game, when the former starter threw an interception and fumbled.
“John Franklin is taking all of the No. 2 reps,” Malzahn said. “Jeremy’s taken reps the last couple of weeks. So not ready to make a call exactly on that.”
Auburn also has redshirt freshman Tyler Queen and junior walk-on Devin Adams available at quarterback for Saturday. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee confirmed Sunday night true freshman quarterback Woody Barrett will redshirt this season.
While Malzahn said he doesn’t know who will play quarterback for Auburn in its home finale this Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network), he’ll have complete faith in whoever takes the snaps.
“I’m confident in whoever we put out there that they get it done,” Malzahn said. “That’s 100 percent the truth.”