AUBURN, Ala. — After a strong performance in a close loss to No. 2 Clemson last Saturday, Auburn’s defense will get a key piece back for Week 2’s matchup against Arkansas State.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn announced Tuesday that junior safety Stephen Roberts has returned to the team following a suspension. Roberts was arrested August 24 on charges of attempting to elude an officer and for possessing a firearm without a license.
“Stephen Roberts served a one-game suspension, and he will be back this week,” Malzahn said.
Last week, Malzahn said Roberts would be suspended for the Clemson game and added his status would be determined “week to week.”
On Monday night, safety Tray Matthews confirmed Roberts was practicing again with the team. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele wouldn’t comment on Roberts’ status, opting to let Malzahn announce in his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Roberts started Auburn’s final four games of the 2015 season and was projected to be a Week 1 starter with Matthews. Junior Nick Ruffin moved into the starting lineup as senior Rudy Ford started at nickel back.
Auburn’s defense held Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Deshaun Watson to 248 passing yards and one touchdown in the 19-13 loss. Steele said Monday the new-look secondary didn’t have a single coverage bust against the defending national runner-up.
Justin Ferguson is the Auburn beat writer for the AJC’s SEC Country. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonAU.