Jump to content

Johnson 'banged up,' but 'confident' he'll play


Recommended Posts

Auburn's Kerryon Johnson 'banged up,' but 'confident' he'll play in SEC Championship Game


Kerryon Johnson characterized his shoulder as "banged up" and "sore," but Auburn's star running is "confident" he'll be able to play in the SEC Championship Game.

The running back is rehabbing from a right shoulder injury he suffered during Auburn's 26-14 win over Alabama.

"I'm working this week to get to back to as healthy as I can be," Johnson said. "We've been working for this game for a long time. I'm doing everything I can to get back out there on the field. ... I'm confident in myself just because I've been through injuries in my time here, I've been through it before, everybody has. I never count myself out until I'm officially counted out."

Johnson did not practice Sunday as No. 4 Auburn opened the week before playing No. 6 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game at 3 p.m. CT Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

"It's just banged up," he said. "This is Week (14) of the football season, I'm a running back and guys are going to get banged up. It's nothing more or nothing less."

Quarterback Jarrett Stidham and linebacker Tre' Williams, who is playing through a right shoulder injury of his own, both believe Johnson will play.

"Kerryon is really tough, man," Williams said. "That's something we look up to him for, and a lot of people should. Just all in all, know he's going to play because it's the first time we've played in the SEC Championship, and he wouldn't let this opportunity bypass him."

Johnson had 30 carries for 104 yards and a touchdown, a three-yard touchdown pass and three catches for 21 yards before leaving the Iron Bowl midway through the fourth quarter.


"I made a mistake on my part; I reached out with the wrong arm trying to get that touchdown, just kind of got it hit and banged up," Johnson said on his diving effort before his one-yard touchdown run during the third quarter against Alabama. "Kind of didn't feel that great on that (last) run. I figured we kind of had the game in control, so no need to try to push it."

As he laid on the field, the crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium began chanting "Kerry-on," which the running back said made him emotional.

"I was good until that happened," Johnson said. "Just to see that support. A lot of people play this game; I play of people come through Auburn, a lot of people on that team that was out there Saturday played, but to hear the crowd chanting my name, supporting me through that time where I wanted to finish that game, that was obviously a huge game for us. I wanted to be out there and finish it with them, with the team.

"That brought tears to my eyes. It just shows that I've done right by myself, I've done right by this university since I've been here."

According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson had 76 rushing yards after contact and with forcing seven missed tackles on his runs and receptions against Alabama.

Johnson has 250 carries for 1,276 yards and 17 touchdowns this season and leads the country in both carries and rushing yards against ranked teams despite missing two-plus games due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the season opener.

"I know how much this means to Kerryon to play in a game like this, to be in a game like this," Stidham said. "Obviously, he's a really big part of this offense. Yeah, I feel very confident (he'll play). ... He carries a load every single week for us. He's a big part of our offense.

"Any time he goes down in a game, you know it's something you have to take a look at. He's about as tough as it gets, in my opinion."

Johnson had 32 carries for 167 yards and two catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in Auburn's 40-17 win over Georgia earlier this month. The only other Auburn running back to get a carry against the Bulldogs was Kam Martin, who had two carries for seven yards on the last two plays of the game.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Auburn has "a lot of strengths" it can rely on if Johnson is unable to play.

"They've got other backs that are good, probably not near as good as Kerryon, but they've got quality backs and they're SEC backs," Smart said. "They've also got ways of creating a running game that Gus has done outside of Kerryon. He does a good job of sharing those carries."

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Auburn is BLESSED to have these young MEN representing us. ❤️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, WarTim said:

Auburn is BLESSED to have these young MEN representing us. ❤️

Really. This is not just a cliche response. There's some real men of character and leadership on this team, and Kerryon is a standout. He impresses me greatly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KJ will go very far in life, whether it's the NFL or not. He just has that "it" factor type of characer.  Love him, WDE Kerryon

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...