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Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway ‘week to week’

Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway runs through drills Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway runs through drills Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway isn’t healthy enough to play thanks to the leg injury he suffered against Vanderbilt.

Coach Gus Malzahn will let everyone know when that changes.

“He wasn’t able to play, so it’s week-to-week,” Malzahn said after a 13-7 loss to Georgia. “We’ll see. I’ll keep you updated.”

Auburn fans hoping to get a clear picture of Pettway’s status for next week’s game against Alabama A&M probably shouldn’t hold their breath given Malzahn’s spotty record in recent weeks of providing accurate injury updates

Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee couldn’t agree on whether or not Pettway practiced this week. The two also had diverging opinions on White’s practice participation.

Pettway was a late scratch Saturday traveling to Athens with the team, but coming out in sweats for pregame warm-ups.

The running back came into the week leading the SEC in rushing with 1,106 yards. Pettway matched the most productive stretch for a running back in program history with four straight games of more than 150 yards.

As disappointed as Pettway was to miss the game, the running back was a positive presence on Auburn’s sideline.

“We are always talking to each other, he kept telling we got to make a play, we got make a play. I could tell he wanted to be out there as bad as we did. He’s always giving pointers, that’s what a great teammate does.”

Auburn’s offense faced an “uphill battle” replacing Pettway’s production, but his teammates didn’t use his absence as a scapegoat for their struggles.

“It changed, but we’ve been pretty good on offense this year. It’s kind of a ‘next man up’ mentality. I think (Johnson) ran hard. He did some good stuff. We just never got in a rhythm. We never got in our pace. We were fighting uphill offensively.”

Johnson had a career-high 99 rushing yards against an SEC opponent starting for Pettway. The sophomore scored Auburn’s lone touchdown on a 3-yard run out of the wildcat in the first quarter.

“When you don’t have a guy like Kam running the ball it obviously going to affect us a little bit, but this is the SEC people are going to get hurt,” fellow Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson said. “That’s no excuse for us to not have a productive day. We just got outplayed.”

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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