Auburn originally hoped the injury to freshman running back Malik Miller wouldn’t be a serious one. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.
Coach Gus Malzahn confirmed Miller is out following surgery on his left knee. He sustained the injury in Saturday’s victory over Louisiana-Monroe and had surgery on Monday.
“He will be back here, hopefully, before the end of the year,” Malzahn said according to AL.com.
Miller had 16 carries and 69 rushing yards with a touchdown this season. He accumulated 45 of those yards and the score Saturday against ULM before his injury.
His 69 yards rank fourth on the team in rushing and third among Auburn running backs. Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway lead the way for the Tigers’ ground game, but Pettway is also hurt and missed last week’s game.
With both now banged up, Auburn will have to rely heavily upon Johnson and another true freshman, Kam Martin, in the backfield.
Interestingly, Martin was actually a more highly-regarded recruit out of high school last February than Miller. 247 Sports rated Martin a four-star back and the seventh-best overall all-purpose back in the 2016 recruiting class. On the same ranking list, Miller was a three-star player and ranked 22nd at his position.
Despite the hype, Martin has just 14 carries for 56 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Sean White could also be asked to do more due to the injuries in the backfield. White has been excellent over the last three weeks, completing 73.1 percent of his passes for an average of 9.06 yards per attempt. He also has five touchdown passes and no interceptions.