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Muschamp: Cautiously optimistic Auburn DL Carl Lawson will return to field ‘soon’ barring setback

Michael Niziolek


The Auburn football team has been tight-lipped when discussing injured players this season, a policy that’s been in full effect whenever defensive lineman Carl Lawson’s name gets mentioned.

Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has a habit of being the most forthcoming coach on the Tigers’ staff, and during his weekly press conference Wednesday he talked about the increased possibility of getting Lawson back ‘soon.’

“He’s on schedule to come back, not this week but he’s a guy that they’ve had on the field, not practicing at all but running and doing a lot of things with our staff,” Muschamp said.

Lawson has a meeting with Dr. James Andrew scheduled for this week that will determine his next step.

The sophomore isn’t currently practicing in pads with the team, but traveled with Auburn to be on the sidelines, without crutches, for a 30-27 win over Kentucky.

Muschamp praised Lawson, who was named a co-captain this year with Jonathan Wallace, for his positive influence on the defense.

“Leadership and experience,” Muschamp said, of Lawson’s presence. “A guy that where the guys can come over and talk to him about what they’re seeing. He’s a really good football player but his intangible qualities go very far for our football team.”

Lawson missed his entire sophomore season with a torn ACL, and suffered a hip injury in the first half of the season-opener against Louisville. In less than 30 minutes, he had four tackles, two for a loss and one sack with three quarterback hits.

He burst onto the scene as a true freshman with 20 tackles, four sacks, and 7.5 tackles for a loss, and earned Sporting News freshman All-American honors.

No timeline was offered for Lawson’s return, but Muschamp is the first Auburn coach to sound optimistic about the lineman’s short-term prospects.

“They haven’t told me as far as specifically, but we certainly expect him to be back,” Muschamp said. “Unless we have some sort of setback, that’s why I don’t want to come out and say a date and then ‘well, what happened?’ because I think we’re dealing with a situation that will be resolved soon.”

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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