Auburn football: Defensive tackle Tyler Nero attends practice after hospitalization on Thursday

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 29, 2014 

Auburn Football

In this file photo from last year's fall camp, Tyler Nero works through a drill. On Thursday, the third-year sophomore collapsed at practice. According to coach Gus Malzahn, Nero attended Saturday's scrimmage but did not dress out.

TODD J. VAN EMST — Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala. — After being hospitalized on Thursday, Auburn defensive lineman Tyler Nero was back with the team Saturday.

He didn't participate in the Tigers' scrimmage, however, and coach Gus Malzahn refrained from providing further details.

"He wasn't out there dressed out, but we'll see," Malzahn said. "That's yet to be determined."

Nero collapsed during Thursday's practice and was transported by ambulance to the East Alabama Medical Center. Malzahn left practice to check on Nero's condition and made it back approximately 20 minutes before the Tigers ended their Thursday session.

Malzahn admitted there were tense moments after Nero went down.

"Any time any player gets hurt, as a coach, you're definitely concerned," he said.

Gabe Wright didn't see Nero black out when it happened, as he was running off the field. When he turned around, he saw his teammate on the ground. According to Wright, the incident occurred during the Tigers' "pace" drill, where the team tries to run as many plays as possible in a compressed time frame to simulate up-tempo offenses.

Much like Malzahn, Wright was anxious when he saw his fallen teammate.

"We (were) like, 'What’s going on?'” Wright said. “People noticed Tyler kind of still, lying over, everybody over there with him. ... I mean it’s scary.”

The mood lightened after Wright and other members of the defensive line were able to visit Nero in the hospital. While there, they drank Sprite and juice and generally were able to be themselves after tests on Nero's heart didn't show anything amiss.

"We were kinda laughing and enjoying the moment," Wright said.

Nero, a third-year sophomore, appeared in one game last year, recording a tackle against Western Carolina.

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