By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Kerryon Johnson returned from injury and Kamryn Pettway was at practice, too. But the two Auburn running backs who are in the Top 10 in rushing in the SEC weren't alone Sunday.
Freshman Kameron Martin and receiver-turned-running back Stanton Truitt mixed it up at running back, too, after receiving heavy work during last week's open date.
Auburn returned to practice with an eye on Saturday's home game against Arkansas with the hope that Johnson, the Tigers' leading rusher, has overcome the ankle injury that knocked him out of the last game and last week's practices as well.
Auburn is third in the SEC in rushing, whether the Tigers have done it with a 24-carry against Louisiana-Monroe, as Johnson had in Week 5; or the 39-carry game Pettway had against Mississippi State in Week 6.
Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee put a hopeful spin on Johnson's return and Auburn's running game.
"I got to see him move around today and it’s a day-to-day thing, but after today, I feel like he's got a shot just knowing the kid like I do. We'll see as the week goes on, but I'm optimistic," Lashlee said.
"He was moving around and ran the ball some and caught some balls. It was good to see him out there moving around."
Johnson has rushed for 538 yards. Pettway has 508.
Then there's Martin and Truitt. They've combined for 154 yards, but are available and willing after getting a lot of work last week.
"They got a ton of reps, obviously," Lashlee said. "Kam is continuing to get better as a freshman and I thought he did some good things last game. Stanton has shown just a lot of explosiveness. He’s getting more and more comfortable the more time he reps at the position.
"It was good for not only them to get reps, but for the quarterbacks to get reps with them on a lot of the things that have to do with just being on the same page."
Lashlee said the Tigers returned to practice Sunday ready to go.
"We went a little longer and with a little better energy than we have on a normal Sunday because we didn’t play yesterday," Lashlee said. "It was good to try to get a little bit of a jumpstart on the week. The guys have had two days off, so we knocked some of the rust off, but I thought we were bouncing around and I thought we were fresh."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine
Auburn returned to practice Sunday after enjoying an open date. 'We were fresh,' says offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. Video report pic.twitter.com/N26DOqMjUg
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) October 16, 2016