AUBURN, Ala. — D'haquille Williams' status hasn't changed as this year's Iron Bowl draws ever closer.
Auburn's leading receiver is "still day-to-day," according to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. But the coaching staff continues to grow more confident he'll be healthy enough to play Saturday.
"We're optimistic. He's getting better," Lashlee said in a post-practice interview Sunday night. "The guys we held, we felt like it was the right decision (to hold him out), and we feel like it's going to increase their chances of playing this week."
Williams, who leads the Tigers in receptions (38), receiving yards (609) and receiving touchdowns (five), injured his right knee early in the second quarter of Auburn's game against Texas A&M on Nov. 8. In the two weeks since, Auburn has held him out of games versus Georgia and Samford, respectively.
Fellow receiver Quan Bray was cautiously confident Williams will be back in the lineup when Auburn heads to Tuscaloosa to take on top-ranked Alabama.
"Yeah, hopefully," Bray said.
The senior said the team has been bringing Williams along slowly since the junior pass-catcher returned to practice last week.
"He's been doing a little bit," Bray said. "They're just keeping him a little down. But he's been doing a little bit."
Lashlee believes Monday's practice will speak volumes about Williams' availability — or lack thereof — for the Iron Bowl.
"We'll just know when we get out there tomorrow and get after it and see where they're at," the coach said. "But we're always optimistic our guys are going to be ready to go."