Auburn hopes to have their sack leader from 2012 available Saturday, but as of now that remains uncertain. Dee Ford is still recovering from a summer knee injury and was kept out of Auburn’s victory Saturday as a safety measure. His status for Saturday’s SEC opener against Mississippi State is up in the air.
According to AL.com, Ford practiced with the Tigers last week but did not dress for Auburn’s home game against Arkansas State. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said the decision to hold Ford out was made in the interest of safety and the staff is waiting to make sure he will be in good condition before getting back in a uniform for the Tigers this season. Head coach Gus Malzahn said last week he was hopeful Ford would be able to return for last weekend’s game, which may be a sign that he is on track to returning to a game sooner rather than much later.
Ford led Auburn in sacks last season and would be a welcome addition to the defensive line when he is set to play. Auburn’s defensive line has come up with four sacks through two games, which is right in the middle of the SEC after two games. It is a small sample size, but Auburn is also ranked in the middle of the SEC in rushing defense. Ford should be able to help improve on those numbers when he does return.