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Auburn looking for Kamryn Pettway's return for Iron Bowl
Auburn hopes to have Kamryn Pettway (36) and Sean White available against Alabama
Nov. 22, 2016

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. Kerryon Johnson says it's been a crazy season.

He's been hurt. Kamryn Pettway has been hurt. One's played. The other has played. Auburn's top two running backs have carried the ball in the same game only six of 11 football Saturdays.

They both may get the ball in Game No. 12.

Coach Gus Malzahn said Tuesday that Pettway, Auburn's leading rusher, is expected to be available in Saturday's game at Alabama after missing the last two games with a leg injury.

"He's one of our impact players. He's one of the best running backs in all of college football and one of the best in our league," Malzahn said. "Any time you have a guy like that back, it changes things. It changes things in a good way for us.

"Certain people, maybe not 100 percent, are better than others 100 percent, and we're hoping that'll be the case."

There have been only a handful of games when both Pettway, who has dealt with a leg injury; and Johnson, who has nursed a sore ankle for weeks, were completely healthy. Even now, Johnson says he's still not quite 100 percent.

Malzahn has a better feel for his running backs, but was less certain on the availability of quarterback Sean White, who didn't play last week because of a bad shoulder and has been limited for the last month.

"I want to make sure and go through practice today and tomorrow before we make a call on who will lead us out from the quarterback position," Malzahn said. "But overall, I really like where our team's at. They're really looking forward to playing this game and I'm looking forward to watching them."

The quarterback situation is unclear, but another member of the backfield will return. H-back Chandler Cox, who also missed the last game, is expected to play.

Pettway has rushed for 1,106 yards. Johnson is up to 842. Before it's done, Auburn may have two 1,000-yard rushers, a rarity, especially since have missed playing time.

"It's been crazy, for sure," Johnson said. "But the one thing about it is, when you have two guys that you know can both start a game, both finish a game, it really helps you. So, if one of us is unfortunate enough to go down, you know at least we have one guy. It's been a little crazy dealing with it, but that's just part of the game."

Johnson said Pettway's return would mean a lot.

"It means that I won't be as tired," Johnson said. "When you get another 1,000 rusher back, that’s obviously a huge deal. He’s a very physical guy, very big guy, so just to have both of us back there together again will be nice."

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