The injury news wasn’t good for three Auburn players on Wednesday.
Head coach Gene Chizik said defensive end Justin Delaine will miss the rest of the season with an injury and that he anticipates offensive linemen Aubrey Phillips and Ed Christian going on medical hardship, which would end their college careers.
Although Chizik didn’t go into specifics about Delaine’s injury, the redshirt freshmen from Linden, Ala., left early in the Mississippi State game with a knee injury.
He had two tackles this season, one of which going for a loss, as a third-stringer at power end.
“He’s out,” Chizik said. “And he’s not going to be back this year.”
Delaine’s absence means an increase in reps for redshirt freshman LaDarius Owens, who is making the switch back to defensive line after working at linebacker last year.
Chizik anticipates Phillips and Christian being put on medical hardship, which would end their careers. In that scenario, they would still receive their scholarships but would not count against Auburn’s 85-scholarship limit.
“That is the plan at this moment,” Chizik said.
Phillips, a sophomore from Olive Branch, Miss., returned to Auburn after suffering an undisclosed medical episode two years ago that kept him off the team and out of school.
He re-enrolled this fall but suffered another injury in August practice, keeping him out from the week the Tigers reported. It’s unclear if his latest injury is related to his previous episode.
Christian, a redshirt freshman from Valdosta, Ga., never appeared in a game at Auburn, struggling with back issues. He sat out the spring and didn’t practice in August.