AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn's injury list was long Saturday. And not a single issue occurred during the A-Day game itself. Instead, the Tigers took precautionary measures, holding a whopping 11 players out of action.
The majority of those were players who weren't expected to take part, anyway. That included a trio of players who are rehabbing from injuries that caused them to miss some or all of last season: receiver Stanton Truitt (shoulder), offensive linemen Alex Kozan (back) and Jordan Diamond (undisclosed) and defensive ends Carl Lawson (anterior cruciate ligament) and DaVonte Lambert (knee).
Another group was composed of players injured this spring: receiver Tony Stevens (foot), defensive end Raashed Kennion (head), linebacker Justin Garrett (high ankle sprain) corners Jonathan Jones (lingering foot injury, which forced him to undergo surgery Thursday) and T.J. Davis (ACL tear).
But the most surprising absence Saturday was Shon Coleman. The player who started all 13 games at left tackle last year — which is expected to continue this fall — did not dress out.
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"He got a little banged up, I think Tuesday in practice," coach Gus Malzahn said. "If it was the (regular) season, he could have played. So nothing serious, but we wanted to be safe (instead) of sorry with some of these guys and get our main guys to the field in the fall."
With Coleman on the sideline, junior Robert Leff got the starting nod at left tackle. Though some may say he was only in the lineup due to Coleman's misfortune, Malzahn said Leff had more than earned his place.
"Robert, he's worked with our first group throughout the spring — really, the second half of spring," he said. "So he's done some good things."
Despite the staggering number of players who aren't 100 percent as the spring reaches its conclusion, Malzahn said every player with the exception of Davis should be fine when the team reports back for fall camp.
"We expect everybody to be back. At least that's the plan," he said. "Everybody is at least heading that way."