By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Three running backs are out, a top receiver is injured and quarterback Sean White may not play Saturday because of a bum shoulder.
What else could go wrong? Defensive lineman Byron Cowart had an emergency appendectomy Wednesday morning and is out indefinitely.
Cowart hasn't started a game, but he was ready substitute, playing 187 snaps. Malzahn said Cowart was "recovering well" around midday Wednesday.
Malzahn was already trying to nurse his injured players to Saturday's 6:30 p.m. game against Alabama A&M. He said Tuesday running backs Kamryn Pettway, Stanton Truitt and Chandler Cox won't play because of injuries. Receiver Marcus Davis will miss the Alabama A&M and Alabama games with a shoulder injury. Special teams player Josh Shockley is also out with a shoulder injury.
Malzahn said Wednesday he hasn't decided whether White will be healthy enough to play Saturday.
"This time of year you've got to deal with injuries," Malzahn said during the SEC teleconference. "Every team deals with it in different ways. We've had quite a few, but it's just got to be next-man-up mentality. That's the way we're approaching it."
Malzahn said he's working to shore up the running back position, a positon hurt by the absence of Truitt, Cox and Pettway, who is the SEC's leading rusher and a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award. Kerryon Johnson has been slowed by an ankle injury as well.
Malzahn turned to both freshman Malik Miller, who had knee surgery after the fifth game of the year; and senior defensive back Rudy Ford, who came to Auburn as a tailback, to try their hand at running back in Tuesday's practice.
"We're just trying to make sure we have enough depth moving forward," Malzahn said.
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Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine