Cassanova McKinzy back at Auburn practice after injury

Oct. 6, 2013

CassanovaMcKinzy
Auburn's Cassanova McKinzy made the hit against LSU this season (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn linebacker Cassanova McKinzy is apparently on the comeback trail after a scary-looking neck injury that saw him placed on a cart and taken away from Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night. 

McKinzy was at practice Sunday and "did everything that everybody else did," according to defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. It was a practice day of review with no contact, but it was still a bounce-back day for McKinzy after suffering the injury in Auburn's 30-22 win over Ole Miss. 

Auburn's medical staff took their time dealing with the injury Saturday night, finally placing him on a stretcher with his head strapped down. He was taken to East Alabama Medical Center for an examination, and returned to the sidelines, wearing a neck brace, before the game was over. 

The news was good on two other players who were hurt Saturday. Quarterback Nick Marshall, who tweaked a knee, isn't expected to miss any time. And defensive lineman Montravius Adams, who suffered a bruised knee, should be back, too. 

Two other players who didn't dress out because of injuries – defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker and safety Justin Garrett – are considering redshirt seasons because of injuries, Johnson said. 

McKinzy seems to be on track to return, perhaps at a slower pace. 

"When they got out there to him, they took a very precautionary tract on it," Johnson said. "As we know right now, and I don't want to get to specifics because I don't know all the technicalities, it's a pretty serious neck sprain, or stinger, but nothing that you would say is critical and that he can't play. It's just a matter of time before that thing relaxes… how soon does it leave?" 

Johnson said he wouldn't know McKinzy's status for a couple of days. Auburn will likely take its time with McKinzy, especially since the Tigers play 1-5 Western Carolina on Saturday. 

"I'm always going to be optimistic," Johnson said. "If he can't contact this week, I always lean toward not letting them play. They haven't told me that yet." 

Garrett has a star-crossed year. He was the standout defensive player in the spring in Johnson's hybrid Star safety position, but hurt his foot before the first game. He returned for Game 3 and 4, but suffered a crack in a bone in his other foot. 

Johnson said Garrett is not ready to return. 

Whitaker, the veteran defensive tackle, hasn't played this year because of a leg injury. He could take a redshirt season as well. 

"Does he want to try to come back pretty soon, or does he want to take this year?" Johnson asked.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter:


 

 

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