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Gus Malzahn: Auburn at full speed in first Sugar Bowl practice

Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway warms up before playing Arkansas Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn running back Kamryn Pettway warms up before playing Arkansas Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn is much healthier than it was when it walked off the field in Tuscaloosa on Nov 27.

The Tigers returned to the field Wednesday for the first of eight practices before the team leaves for the Sugar Bowl.

Coach Gus Malzahn opened his post-practice press conference with a general overview of a considerably smaller injury report than the one Auburn had at the end of the regular season.

“Everybody practiced full speed,” Malzahn said. “It was good to have everybody out there and we expect all the rest of the guys to be ready for the bowl and be 100 percent.”

The lone exception is defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence. The backup tackle, who had 13 tackles this season with one sack, had surgery on an undisclosed injury and will miss the New Year’s Six bowl.

“Devaroe, being a senior, that was a very tough blow,” Malzahn said. “He's an outstanding young man. He did a very good job for us this year. I really feel bad for him.”

The rest of the updates were encouraging for Auburn fans hoping to see a roster at full strength in New Orleans.

“All of our guys that were out there, they did everything in the 12 periods that we did without any kind of limitations,” Malzahn said. “So I thought that was good."

Auburn starting quarterback Sean White didn’t ‘miss a beat’ in his return to the practice field.

White missed more than a month of practice and the final two regular season games, but is on track to be ready for the Sugar Bowl.

The time off also benefitted Kamryn Pettway (quad), Marcus Davis (shoulder) and Stanton Truitt (ankle).

Davis’ arm was in a sling when he participated in Senior Day activities before Auburn played Alabama A&M on Nov. 19.

The defense also looked fresh with Byron Cowart (appendectomy), Rudy Ford (ankle) and Josh Holsey (ankle) back at practice.

"I think the last two weeks have been really good for those guys. They were all out there and participating. It was good to have everybody back out there."

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra

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