AUBURN – The star-crossed career of defensive back Aairon Savage is on hold again after he hurt his knee, but Auburn defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads says his already-thin secondary can press on without him.
Savage suffered the most significant injury of fall camp Monday, and coach Tommy Tuberville said Tuesday the junior may be facing surgery after he visits doctors in Birmingham today. If so, Savage’s departure leaves Auburn with at least two new starters in the four-man secondary, most likely Mike McNeil and Walter McFadden.
“There’s no bigger burden on any corner or DB just because Aairon is down right now with an injured knee,” Rhoads said. “If everybody in jerseys out here doesn’t feel the need to step up, then we’re not in the position that we think we are.”
McFadden is first in line to replace Savage.
Rhoads said Savage and McFadden “were definitely in a competition” for one of the cornerback spots, anyway. One was to play alongside veteran Jerraud Powers.
Savage missed six games last year with shoulder and ankle injuries but had more experience than McFadden.
McFadden was named the most improved defensive back in the spring by the coaches. Last season he had 10 tackles and one interception – for 93 yards, the longest such return at Auburn in 14 years.