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A spirit that is not afraid

Leota to undergo pectoral surgery

Eku Leota (55) and Zakoby McClain (9) against Mississippi State on Nov. 13, 2021 in Auburn, AL.
Eku Leota (55) and Zakoby McClain (9) against Mississippi State on Nov. 13, 2021 in Auburn, AL.

The Auburn defense will play the remainder of its season without one of its top defensive players. EDGE rusher Eku Leota will most likely miss the remainder of the season after injuring his pectoral in the close loss to LSU on Saturday.

On Monday, head coach Bryan Harsin announced that Leota will undergo surgery to have his pectoral repaired and that it is "most likely" season-ending.

"He injured his pec in the game and is going to get that repaired tomorrow, so most likely that is season-ending," Harsin said.

Leota had 17 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks through five games in 2022.

Leota spent his first season at Auburn last year after spending two seasons at Northwestern. The North Carolina native was a part of the third-team all-Big Ten team in 2020.

In 2021, Leota recorded 23 tackles, 10 TFL and seven sacks - all career-highs. He and Derick Hall are both major contributors to the Auburn defense.

"Eku's a big loss. He's an emotional leader," Harsin said. "He's one of the smartest football players we have."

After Leota exited the LSU game early, Western Kentucky transfer Marcus Bragg replaced Leota. Bragg recorded four tackles and a sack in relief of Leota.

Auburn faces Georgia on Saturday in the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on CBS.

Jacob Waters | Sports Reporter

Jacob is a sophomore from Leeds, Alabama. This is his second year with The Auburn Plainsman. 

Twitter: @JacobWaters_

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