Bosley may miss Arkansas game

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AUBURN, Ala. ­ Auburn could be without starting center Jason Bosley this week after he sprained his knee in Auburn’s 35-7 win over Vanderbilt.

Trainers helped Bosley off the field just before halftime and he didn’t return to the game. Starting left tackle Ryan Pugh is the backup center and filled in for Bosley in the second half against the Commodores. Senior King Dunlap, who started Auburn’s first three games at left tackle before missing time with an injury, played on Saturday and is expected to start there against Arkansas on Saturday.

“That’s the game plan right now,” offensive line coach Hugh Nall said.

Auburn players said Bosley was walking around on Sunday and called it an “encouraging sight,” although nobody knew when he might return. Most players said they thought he’d be out a week or two.

“I don’t think the injury is quite as serious as we thought it was during the game,” Pugh said. “Seeing him go down was just unfortunate.”

Nall said before the week that he wanted to get Pugh snaps at center and Dunlap at tackle, but he didn’t anticipate an injury facilitating that.

“We’re all hoping he gets back as quick as possible because he’s such a leader in the huddle and on the field. It’s just, not lifeless, but different with him not out there.”

Short practice

The Tigers worked out for just about an hour in helmets and shorts on Sunday, which is a typical workout.

The Tigers will be off today and return to practice on Tuesday.

Imminent return?

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville said he didn’t know if the Tigers would get some relief this week from the injuries which have been plaguing the team.

Auburn’s defense dominated Vanderbilt last week despite the absence of four starters ­ safety Aairon Savage, linebackers Tray Blackmon and Merrill Johnson and defensive end Quentin Groves.

“We’ll know more after (Sunday),” Tuberville said. “I hope we get a couple of them back. I was hoping for Blackmon to be back last week, and that didn’t happen.”

Savage twisted a knee against Florida, while Blackmon (ankle) and Johnson (shoulder) have battled nagging injuries. Groves dislocated three toes against Florida and will essentially return when he can handle the pain which will be associated with the injury since there’s no real treatment.

New faces

Auburn’s injuries have put a strain on the starters, particularly the players who also participate on special teams.

Tuberville said that was the reason the Tigers lifted the redshirts from freshmen Ryan Williams and Josh Bynes last week. Both were slated to redshirt this year, but the Tigers need depth.

Perhaps the most surprising newcomer on the special teams was third-team quarterback Blake Field, who played on punt return.

“Coach (Eddie) Gran came to me and asked me to do it,” Field said. “I was like ‘Yeah, sure.’ What’s it going to hurt? It will toughen me up, maybe prepare me for next year.”

Field was actually an all-state punter while at Cairo (Ga.) High and has always been considered athletic. He said if he had the speed, he could be a wedge buster on kickoffs.

“I am if I get there first, but we’ve got other guys, like Mike McNeil, who are a little faster than me,” Field said.

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