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A spirit that is not afraid

Auburn cornerback set to undergo surgery after ankle injury

Auburn cornerback Keionte Scott against California on Sept. 9, 2023.
Auburn cornerback Keionte Scott against California on Sept. 9, 2023.

Junior cornerback Keionte Scott is said to be out indefinitely after an ankle injury in Auburn's third game of the season, against Samford. 

“Unfortunately, Keionte did not get a good report, and that hurts us a lot," said head coach Hugh Freeze "He’s our leader back there, and he’s going to have surgery today. It just hasn’t been a good year for us with injuries."

Scott obtained the injury in his first drive against the Bulldogs, and was later seen wearing a boot on the sidelines. He is said to be out for a “considerable time.” 

Scott has been an effective player for the Tigers so far this season. Within his 88 snaps, Scott has secured 10 tackles and is Auburn’s 10th-most-played defensive player as of game three. Last season, Scott made his mark with 53 total tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss, one sack and one interception.

Since Scott and Ja’Varrius Johnson, Auburn's second punt returner, are both injured, that leaves Auburn leaning on its third string to fill Scott's shoes. Senior Jaylin Simpson, who received one punt against Samford, will be the replacement." 

"He is going to be really valuable with his presence in the back end right now," Freeze said. "We will start catching punts with a lot of different people today. Koy Moore has done it, Caleb Burton has done it. We will get on the jugs twice this week and make sure we feel comfortable with who that is, and Jaylin may be one of them too."

Potential Tigers to play in place of Scott in the secondary are Donovan Kaufman, who also missed the Samford game, and Caleb Wooden, who secured six tackles for the Tigers in place of Scott after his departure.

Auburn is not shy of early season injuries, especially with its experienced players. Alongside Scott, senior offensive lineman Kam Stutts and junior Izavion Miller didn’t finish Saturday’s game because of injuries.

Starting linebacker Austin Keys also remains out because of hand surgery following the season opener against UMass.  

“We need all these guys on Saturday, so hopefully we will have a good week of rehab and they will be ready to go," Freeze said. "It is concerning right now that list that they gave me this morning."

Because of injured veterans recovering from injuries, many newer players face the potential of seeing the field for Auburn this upcoming weekend. 

“That is a great challenge. We have to get some young guys ready," Freeze said. "They are going to get baptized into the SEC pretty good in front of A&M’s crowd and the talent on that team."

The 3-0 team heads to its first game of conference play this upcoming weekend with a combination of injured veterans, prepared returners and eager freshmen close at hand. Game time is set for 11 a.m. CST at Kyle Field and will be televised on ESPN.

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