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Injury Report from B'ham News


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Pounded on the Plain

Tigers' injury list seems to grow longer by the day

Saturday, August 12, 2006


News staff writer

AUBURN - Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox eased past his coaches, slipped behind some big-bodied players and, while nobody much was looking, ran an end-around on official protocol Friday.

He slipped off the practice field and headed to the medical tent to find out - for himself - the seriousness of Courtney Taylor's wounded knee.

Cox's smile told the story as he jogged back.

Auburn's top wide receiver likely only suffered a bruised knee and not something far worse in a Friday drill that left him in a heap and his teammates in quiet reverence. Taylor will have all sorts of medical tests to make sure he's healthy, but coach Tommy Tuberville offered the prognosis of a bruise while adding his receiver to a long list of injured Tigers.

Auburn is so banged up after almost two weeks of practice that Tuberville canceled today's scrimmage because he doesn't have enough players to go around.

"It's tough to scrimmage without an offensive line," he observed. It also would be tough to practice without enough defensive backs and linebackers, too, which is a problem area as well.

Tuberville listed at least eight new injured players Thursday and Friday, although none of the injuries is considered serious. Still, the injuries are beginning to disrupt Auburn's plans.

Gone from the offensive line are the likes of Joe Cope, Antwoin Daniels, Ben Grubbs, Oscar Gonzalez and Tim Duckworth, who could be the poster boy for the group.

"He's just beat up all over - feet, arms, neck, legs - just a total disaster," Tuberville said.

Tuberville said he thought the overall injury situation was less severe than in most years. But the injuries are a distraction, whether it's delaying a scrimmage, or the fact some important defensive players aren't learning on the fly with new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp.

Muschamp says he's not taking the time to let that bother him.

"It can't set you back. You can't slow down what you're doing based on who is there and who is not there," he said. "You've got to continue to coach the guys who are there, and it's your job as a coach to make sure you're not doing too much with the kids you've got."

Muschamp conceded the Tigers are "thin" at linebacker, a position that lost Kevin Sears and Tray Blackmon to pre-practice suspensions, and the further erosion because of injuries to Karibi Dede, Steve Gandy and Hendrick Leverette. Muschamp also is juggling the defensive backs because of injuries to Jerraud Powers and Lorenzo Ferguson. Defensive end Marquies Gunn and noseguard Tez Doolittle also are battling injuries.

Still, Muschamp says a two-deep depth chart is shaping up, especially on the defensive line, where he gave good reviews to Chris Browder, Sen'Derrick Marks, Pat Sims, Quentin Groves and Antonio Coleman.

Muschamp said he liked the linebacker play of Will Herring and Merrill Johnson.

And then began plotting more.

"Our base package is in. It's just a matter of a little twist in there, like third down and maybe an alternative front here and there," Muschamp said. "We're just going to hone in on getting us better right now and concentrating on Auburn, and that's what we're doing right now."

And maybe waiting on the next medical report.

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I wonder what it is that these guys are doing that is getting everyone injured? I realize I have never played CFB and that I have no right to say anything because I don't know what it is that these guys go through. But these players are supposed to be some of the best athletes in the nation and work out every day in the offseason. What is it that our coaches are doing that are causing them all to get hurt? I can understand lineman because DL goes up against the OL and stuff happens when you are not going up against a dummy, but a real person. But why are DBs, LBs, and the likes of CT getting hurt? No one is allowed to touch the QB, perhaps we should just stop all contact in general on the skill positions...

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No one is allowed to touch the QB, perhaps we should just stop all contact in general on the skill positions...

Then you would have an offense of guys that couldn't take a hit, would fumble after every hit, etc. No second and third effort yardage.. in other words, you'd be :vandy:

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Brandon doesn't get hit near as much as anyone else on the team, even in the real game. No way we can risk him getting hit in practice. There is only one QB who takes the majority of tackles for a team, he has now moved on to crown that spot in the NFL.

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