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Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson suffers early ankle injury in win over Mississippi State

Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson, pictured warming up against Arkansas St., didn't return to the game against Mississippi State after injuring his leg in the first quarter.
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson, pictured warming up against Arkansas St., didn't return to the game against Mississippi State after injuring his leg in the first quarter. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Running back Kerryon Johnson injured his right ankle on Auburn’s second possession Saturday afternoon at Davis Wade Stadium.

Johnson watched the early moments of the 38-14 win over Mississippi State limping around the sideline after trainers taped his ankle.

“He wasn’t able to come back,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We will see.”

Johnson carried the ball 24 times against ULM last week. Kamryn Pettway sat out the 58-7 win over ULM with a bruised quad.

It was the reverse Saturday with Pettway filling in for his injured teammate.

“KJ went down fairly early and Pettway had to carry the load, he carried it 39 times against a good run defense,” Malzahn said. “They are one of the best in our conference, one of the best in the country. Real happy with the way he carried the load.”

Johnson had largely silenced concerns about his durability through the first five weeks of the season.

The Madison Academy alum battled a number of injuries throughout his freshman campaign and missed spring practice recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Johnson talked about his durability just last week.

“It’s a long season and we still have plenty of weeks to go, so once I finish this season then I’ll be able to answer that,” Johnson said.

Auburn is already thin at the running back position with the Malik Miller going down last week with a torn MCL. Wide receiver Stanton Truitt is taking an increased number of practice reps at the position to give the offense added depth.

The good news for Johnson is he will get some time to rest the injury with Auburn’s bye week on-deck. The Tigers play Arkansas at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Oct. 22.

“We have to heal up, we have a lot of guys that are banged up,” Malzahn said. “That was a very physical game and we were kind of banged up even coming into this thing.”

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