A week ago the news broke that Boobee Whitlow would miss four-to-six weeks after sustaining a knee injury against Florida and undergoing surgery. Whitlow's earliest return date would be against Georgia on Nov. 16.
Whitlow this season has been Auburn's leading rusher with 544 rushing yards on 110 carries.
For now Auburn will have to take on, at the minimum, Arkansas, LSU and Ole Miss without Whitlow, and possibly more depending on his recovery.
Head coach Gus Malzahn understands that it will be tough without Whitlow but knows the rest of the running backs are ready for the opportunities.
"First of all, you gotta be real, we're not going to Arkansas with one of the best tailbacks in our league," Malzahn said. "I just think that's the reality of the thing, but we do have confidence in our other guys, and we got confidence in our offensive line."
After Whitlow, senior Kam Martin is Auburn's leading rusher at tailback with 34 carries for 174 yards. Next is sophomore Shaun Shivers, with 27 rushing attempts for 144 yards.
"Kam Martin, we know a lot about him." Malzahn said, "Kam Martin has played in a lot of big games and played well. Shivers is a guy that we just talked about. He's capable of making some plays."
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Freshmen D.J. Williams and Harold Joiner and junior Malik Miller have 15 carries combined.
Malzahn is excited to see what the less-than-featured backs can bring, as well, in the upcoming weeks.
"D.J. Williams we just talked about him, this will be his first time in primetime to see what he can do, in the spring he performed really well." Malzahn said, "Harold Joiner will have a role, and he has played specifically in the Texas A&M game and did a solid job. Malik Miller is kind of our specialized guy."
Auburn's first game without Whitlow begins this weekend on the road in Arkansas. The Razorbacks take on No. 11 Auburn this Saturday at 11 a.m. CST on SEC Network.
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