Auburn’s offensive limitations were exposed in a 24-13 loss at Florida in Week 6. Now, the Tigers will be even more limited on that side of the ball for the next month or so. Coach Gus Malzahn told reporters on Tuesday that starting running back JaTarvious Whitlow is out 4-6 weeks as he recovers from knee surgery.
Whitlow sustained the injury late in Auburn’s loss at the Swamp last week. The injury will keep him sidelined for the rest of the month, meaning he would theoretically be available to return somewhere around the time of the Nov. 16 game against Georgia or the following week against Samford. The Tigers have an open date this week.
It’s a significant loss for an Auburn offense that could use a reliable work horse in its offense right about now. Whitlow is leading the team with 544 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground through the first six games, averaging nearly five yards per carry in the process. That included two 100-yard games against Oregon and Kent State. He is also the SEC’s second-leading rusher behind Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill.
As for where Auburn will turn to next, Kam Martin and Shaun Shivers figure to get the bulk of the workload. Martin has 174 yards and two touchdowns on the season while Shivers has 144 yards. The loss of Whitlow could also mean Auburn looks to coveted freshman back D.J. Williams, who has seven carries for 32 yards.