(RNN) – Injuries have been a huge part of the SEC story from Leonard Fournette’s pre-season ankle injury to Auburn’s late-campaign woes. Auburn, Florida and Ole Miss wobble into rivalry games desperately needing an offensive spark.
Star Tiger back Kamryn Pettway should play, but he couldn’t be 100 percent after a muscle pull against Vanderbilt. He hasn’t carried the ball since.
The signal calling duties may fall to senior quarterback Jeremy Johnson in his SEC finale. Regular starter Sean White has a bum shoulder, which didn’t translate into a win at Georgia, and certainly will not do facing Nick Saban’s vaunted defense. Johnson knows the offense, commands a strong arm, played against the Tide in 2015, and has a warm-up game under his belt.
Tiger fullback and run blocker Chandler Cox is expected to take some snaps. But wideout Stanton Truitt is less likely to hit the field.
SEC East champion Florida again comes to a Saturday with a host of injuries. The Gators face formidable FSU, which has its own list of the hobbled and wounded.
Florida safety Nick Washington will not play, and neither will linebacker Jarrad Davis. Quarterback Luke Del Rio will not be available. There are at least five other key Gators out, but they were sidelined for LSU too.
FSU has been nursing a long list of injuries for weeks. And head coach Jimbo Fisher is reportedly among the top favorites to be the next coach at LSU, adding to the distractions in Seminole country. FSU has prevailed in the last three meetings.
The FSU-Gator matchup is one of four SEC-ACC showdowns.
Georgia plays Georgia Tech in Athens where lead Bulldog Kirby Smart is saying that linebacker Natrez Patrick and tackle DaQuan Hawkins Muckle may miss hitting some Yellow Jackets.
Kentucky faces high-powered Louisville in enemy territory. But the Cats can expect to have quarterback Stephen Johnson back for the whole game. Despite a tender knee, he came off the bench in the Austin Peay contest to engineer the bowl-clinching win. And South Carolina faces one-loss Clemson.
It’s not a physical injury, but a mental one in Columbia, MO. Freshman back Damarea Crockett, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards, was arrested on a drug charge and will not be dodging any Razorback defenders.
In the West, Fournette’s SEC career may be over. He is questionable for the LSU-Texas A&M game with stubborn leg injuries. Tiger linebacker Kendell Beckwith will not be delivering any blows in College Station.
Ole Miss meanders into Starkville seeking to even its record at 6-6. The Rebels are showing the marks of a brutal schedule. Mississippi has battled FSU, Bama, Georgia, Memphis (7-4), Arkansas, LSU, AU, Texas A&M, Vandy (5-6) and now ventures into Starkville for the Egg Bowl. Texas A&M knows that can be dangerous.
A three-touchdown loss at Vandy is an example of what Mississippi suffered with the loss of Chad Kelly. Star receiver Evan Engram is questionable after a hamstring injury, and the offensive line is a shuffled deck. New quarterback Shea Patterson was running for room to throw all night against Vanderbilt.
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