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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn rules out handful of starters for game against Alabama A&M

Auburn running back Stanton Truitt is one of three players in the Tigers' backfield ruled out for Saturday's game against Alabama A&M.
Auburn running back Stanton Truitt is one of three players in the Tigers' backfield ruled out for Saturday's game against Alabama A&M. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn’s starting lineup could look a lot different Saturday against Alabama A&M.

Coach Gus Malzahn started his weekly press conference Tuesday with a series of injury announcements.

Starting wide receiver Marcus Davis is out the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.

“The biggest thing with him is he's a security blanket,” Malzahn said. “He's always great at blocking and he's great without the ball.”

There’s a chance Davis could be available for a bowl game.

“That's what we're hoping,” Malzahn said. “He's one of our leaders. He's a super human being. Got great character. Hard worker. That's a tough blow. That's a real tough blow.”

Safety Stephen Roberts will replace Davis on special teams and wide receiver Ryan Davis could be “in that mix” as well.

Kamryn Pettway (leg), Stanton Truitt (ankle) and Chandler Cox (leg) were all ruled out for Saturday, but the trio of backs could be back for Auburn’s regular season finale against Alabama.

Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said it would be “all hands on desk” in the backfield during his press conference Sunday night, which might include injured running back Kerryon Johnson (ankle).

Malzahn acknowledged it would be tempting to sit the sophomore, but is reluctant to keep him out.

“At the same time we need to win this game, too, so I'm not ready to make a call on that right now,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn also confirmed Lashlee’s comments about safety Rudy Ford and Malik Miller being in the mix for reps Saturday.

“We've got Kerryon, we've got Kam Martin,” Malzahn said. “Malik Miller's going to practice this week. Rudy Ford has gotten reps during the season. We'll see how all that goes. I'll probably have a better idea running back-wise what our plan will be toward the end of the week.”

Backup linebacker Josh Shockley, who mainly plays on special teams, will also miss the rest of the regular season with a shoulder injury.

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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