AUBURN, Ala. — Over the last two weeks, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has been vague about the progress of injured started running back Kerryon Johnson.
But on Wednesday, Malzahn came out and said it — the sophomore running back will make his return this Saturday against Ole Miss (7:15 p.m. ET, SEC Network).
“He will play, there’s no doubt about that,” Malzahn said on the SEC teleconference. “He’s close (to 100 percent). We’re trying to be smart about it.”
Johnson injured his ankle during the first quarter of a 38-14 win against Mississippi State on October 8. He practiced in the week leading up to Auburn’s 56-3 rout of Arkansas and dressed out for the game but did not participate.
Malzahn said Johnson went through practice fully Tuesday and looked “close” to full speed. In his Tuesday press conference, Malzahn said the team would know more about Johnson’s status after seeing him practice.
Auburn rushed for an SEC regular-season record 543 yards against Arkansas without Johnson as sophomore Kamryn Pettway took over the team’s rushing lead. Ole Miss allowed 311 rushing yards to Leonard Fournette and LSU in a 38-21 road loss last weekend.