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Gus Malzahn: Injured DE Carl Lawson won't play unless '100 percent healthy'

Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson sacks Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace last year in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson sacks Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace last year in Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn Athletics

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn's coaching staff has refused to say Carl Lawson's season is over.

Even so, it's unlikely the sophomore defensive end will see the field before the Tigers complete their 2014 campaign.

"Like I have said before, until he’s 100 percent healthy my number one concern is his long-term health," coach Gus Malzahn said following Wednesday's practice.

Lawson was expected to be one of the Tigers' top pass rushers this fall after collecting 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks as a true freshman last year. But his sophomore season was derailed before it even began, as he tore his ACL during the final week of spring practice. He had surgery to repair the ligament May 1 and has been recovering ever since.

Assuming he doesn't return this year, Lawson will receive a medical redshirt.

And for one of the crown jewels of Auburn's 2013 recruiting class, Malzahn believes Lawson still hasn't scratched the surface of his potential.

"He’s a great player and has a great future," the coach said. "That’s really all there is to it right now.”

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