Auburn's Carl Lawson makes his move in the season-opener against Louisville
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn will be without defensive end Carl Lawson for an extended period of time because of a hip injury, coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday.
Lawson began the season on the watch lists for the Butkus and Bronko Nagurski national awards though he missed last season because of knee surgery. He was injured in the first half of Auburn's season-opener against Louisville.
Malzahn said Lawson's injury "is a little more serious than we first thought. He's going to be out for an extended period of time. I'm not ready to say exactly when that is. We're hopeful we can get him back before this season is out.
"Obviously, he's an impact player. He's a great competitor and he's going to do everything in his power to get back on the field."
Malzahn said he hopes Lawson can avoid surgery.
"We'll see. It’s not like the ACL injury 'Hey, he’s out for the season.' We’re hoping to have him back. That’s best-case scenario."
The injury hurts Auburn.
"He's probably our defensive leader," Malzahn said. "Anytime you lose a guy like that, and he’s been through it, it's tough on him. He's worked extremely, extremely hard to get back. Then the first game he plays he gets another injury. He's discouraged and I’m trying to just encourage him. He'll work extremely hard to get back and he’ll do everything in his power to get back before the end of the year. We'll just see where that goes."
Lawson came into the season being counted on to rush the quarterback and play the stand-up Buck position in Will Muschamp's new defense. He was injured in the first half of the season-opener and has missed the last two games. Two of his four tackles were for a loss in the opener against Louisville.
It's been a tough for go Lawson, who missed last season as he recovered from knee surgery. He had 20 tackles, 7½ of which were for a loss, in his freshman year in 2013.
Auburn will play on without Lawson against Mississippi State at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine