AUBURN — This time, Auburn’s offensive line avoided a major injury.
After having a few last season and during spring practice, Calvin Ashley sustained either a neck or head injury in a Thursday scrimmage at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn officials said Ashley underwent a series of tests that all checked out negative and he’s since been released from the hospital.
“(Ashley) was taken to the hospital for precautionary purposes,” Gus Malzahn said after the 100-play scrimmage.
Malzahn said he believes the 6-foot-6, 322-pound redshirt freshman from Orlando was playing guard when going down. Ashley came to Auburn as five-star tackle, but has been moved inside.
Last season, Darius James was carted off the field after sustaining a neck injury against Mercer. Casey Dunn suffered a knee injury and Mike Horton injured his ankle during the season.
Then during spring ball, centers Kaleb Kim and Nick Brahms suffered lower body injuries.
Then Ashley went down. He’s OK, but that brought back memories of what’s happened in the past with injuries to the offensive line.
“Anytime anybody gets hurt, whether it’s an offensive lineman, quarterback, running back, receiver, DB (defensive back), whoever it is, you don’t want to see that as a teammate, as a brother,” Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham said. “It’s part of the game, but I know Darius James went down the third game last year and that was really scary.”
Auburn has been working Mike Horton at guard and center. Malzahn said the junior worked at center “probably close to half the time” in the scrimmage and that Kim got the other half of the reps.
Malzahn added senior Tucker Brown saw action at center as well. When asked how the offensive line looked overall in the scrimmage, Malzahn stressed he needs to watch the film to give a true analysis.
“I think they did some good things,” Malzahn said. “I’ve got to sit down and look at the details about the double teams and how much movement they got and everything that goes with that. It’s hard for me to stand up here right now and tell you exactly how good or how bad they did until I really watch it.”
Defensive back Noah Igbinoghene was held out of the scrimmage, but Malzahn expects him to return this week.
“Overall, I felt like it was very productive,” Malzahn said. “This was the one that we wanted to get information specific on the young guys and also the older guys to see them stepping up. We let our 1s go quite a bit and try to get those guys in playing shape.”
Auburn opens the season Sept. 1 against Washington in Atlanta.