AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn's first off day of the preseason came at just the right time for two seniors.
Chad Slade and Trovon Reed returned to the field at the first session of the Tigers' two practices Saturday.
"Chad was back out there," coach Gus Malzahn said. "Trovon was back out there."
Slade is expected to hold down the Tigers' starting left guard spot following Alex Kozan's season-ending injury. A fifth-year senior, Slade has made 35 starts at various positions on the line in the last three seasons. According to offensive line coach J.B. Grimes, Slade's absence was due to a concussion.
"They have to go through a concussion protocol," he said Friday morning. "We've got to go through that protocol and safety is very, very important — especially with an injury like that. He’s going to be fine."
Reed, a receiver-turned-cornerback, has been back for a few days. Though he's battled a nagging hamstring, he shrugged off the issue Saturday.
"Everything is good. I've just got to be smart," Reed said, noting he's only been taking part in non-contact drills. "I can’t do anything stupid that hurts me or my teammates, hurts the team, the Auburn family."
After practicing for a full week before their first break, Malzahn believed the one-day respite benefited his team.
"We did have an off day yesterday, which was good for a lot of our guys to kind of heal themselves up for the nicks and things that come with (seven) days straight," Malzahn said.
With Slade and Reed back in the fold, only one Tiger remains on the injured list: offensive lineman Austin Golson, a transfer from Ole Miss. The nature of his injury has not been disclosed.