By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn tough-guy quarterback Sean White says he'll spend time in the training room this week with an eye on playing Saturday against Alabama A&M and being full strength for the Iron Bowl on Nov. 26.
That is if he'll hurt shoulder will let him.
White admitted Sunday his hurt passing shoulder affected his passes in Saturday's 13-7 loss to Georgia and that maybe he should have fessed up to how much pain he was in.
Alas, he said, he wanted to play.
Such is the life of the tough-minded White, who is second in the SEC in passing efficiency and who doesn't want to be a labeled as an injury-prone quarterback after suffering injuries each of the last two seasons.
"I think that's part of it, just being a competitor," White said. "I can understand why people would say that. I think it's just bad luck. That may have gone into it on why I wanted to play because I don't want to be 'that guy,' always injured. I want to be out there playing."
Auburn's faith in White, the quarterback who led the Tigers to six straight wins, was unquestioned Saturday. Auburn struggled in the second half, but offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said he didn't consider replacing his quarterback. Auburn has tried to nurse White through the injury by not letting him throw in practice the last two weeks. But, White said, "I kind of hurt myself a little bit more during the game."
"I wanted to win, I wanted to be out there playing. I don't know if I really let them know how bad it was hurting me. So, that's on me, and I have to do a better job of just being honest, because maybe the best chance to win might be somebody else if I'm not healthy enough."
White said the shoulder hurt, "but that's not an excuse, either. If I'm going to be out there playing, then you can't use an injury as an excuse."
White is part of Auburn's ever-expanding injured backfield. SEC leading rusher Kamryn Pettway didn't play Saturday because of a leg injury, running back Kerryon Johnson is still not 100 percent after hurting his ankle weeks ago, Stanton Truitt suffered an injury on his first carry Saturday, Chandler Cox was injured as well and freshman running back Malik Miller has been out for weeks after suffering a knee injury.
Freshman running back Kam Martin is apparently healthy for the Alabama A&M game. There was even talk Sunday of letting leading tackler Rudy Ford see time at running back, a position he excelled in in high school, and even in two games early in his college career.
Lashlee said he was proud how White and Johnson, who rushed for 99 yards, played against Georgia.
"I thought both those guys gave great, gutty, tough efforts," Lashlee said. "You can tell how bad they want to win for their teammates, for Auburn. I think you've got to give them a lot of respect for the way they performed considering the circumstances."
White said he's only received "mental reps" in practice. "I haven't thrown at all in two weeks. That's basically how it's gone. I haven't been able to get the timing down and get full reps, but I have been out there and gotten all the mental reps and everything like that."
Auburn tough guy Sean White on playing with pain:
'I could have done a better job just letting them know how bad it was really hurting me' pic.twitter.com/cX90rL7djJ
-- Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) November 14, 2016
White said on the day after Georgia his shoulder was "pretty sore, but I'm going to be in the training room rehabbing and trying to get better as fast as possible so I can try and help my team."
Auburn may try to rest some of its injured players Saturday so they'll be healthier for the Alabama game.
"The cliché answer," White said of the Iron Bowl, "is it's far away, it's only Sunday, so I don't really know how it will feel later in the week. But, obviously, yes, I want to play. I want to play every chance I get. I love playing at Jordan-Hare and with my teammates and playing for Auburn. I'm going to want to play as much as I can, but, yes, the Iron Bowl is a week away and I want to be as healthy as I can for that, too. I think it's just going to up to the trainers and the coaches and how I feel."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine