Sean White’s bid to defend his job as Auburn’s starting quarterback just got a little harder.
Gus Malzahn ruled White out for the start of spring practice during the coach’s annual trip to the Senior Bowl Wednesday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Malzahn made the trip to Mobile to visit Montravius Adams, Rudy Ford and Robert Leff.
“Right now, we are hoping he can go some in spring,” Malzahn said of White. “I’ll have more updates when it gets a little closer.”
Malzahn declined to offer a specific timeline for White’s return when pressed for details. White broke his right forearm during a 35-19 loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
“I’m just hoping he gets to throw some,” Malzahn said. “I’ll have an update as it gets closer.”
With spring practice set to start Feb. 28 — the earliest start date in Malzahn’s tenure on the Plains — White had little time to fully recover.
The news gives Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham a head start in the program’s latest quarterback competition.
Malzahn said it will be up to new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to determine how the team splits up reps with White on the shelf.
The scholarship quarterbacks on the roster include Stidham, fellow early enrollee, Malik Willis, Woody Barrett and Tyler Queen.
“Chip will have a lot to say in that,” Malzahn said. “We’ve hit the ground running — we’re really been doing the recruiting part and next week we’ll really get more into the details. Like I said probably a week before we start spring ball we’ll have a quick get together and I’ll give updates on it.”
Stidham spent time practicing with Auburn during the team’s final preparations on campus for the Sugar Bowl.
“He’s off to a good start,” Malzahn said. “You can tell he’s a leader, and he’s done everything right so far.”
For White, it’s the latest setback in a frustrating end to the 2016 campaign.
White went into the Sugar Bowl having just recovered from an injured throwing shoulder. The AC joint injury kept White out of the Iron Bowl for a second straight season. The Florida native battled multiple leg injuries after being named starter as a redshirt freshman.
White hoped a solid performance in the Sugar Bowl would give him momentum going into the spring, but he injured his forearm on the opening drive.
“I just didn’t want to come out ’cause I’m so tired of being hurt,” White said. “I feel like I’ve been hurt too much.”