Auburn Tigers leading wide receiver D’haquille Williams will likely miss this week’s upcoming contest against the No. 20 ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Duke, as he is most frequently called, injured his right knee during the second quarter of the team’s 41-38 loss versus Texas A&M. Williams was only able to record one catch for 11 yards before being forced out of the game. The extent of the injury remains a bit of a mystery, but recent reports indicated that Williams suffered a sprained MCL and bruised knee.
“We’re hopeful we get Duke back quickly,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said. “We’re optimistic that he’ll be good, but at the same time, we feel good about the guys that have a lot of experience that can fill his shoes.”
The effect of the injury could linger into the coming weeks, however, the progress of the recovery will be the determining factor. Williams will be sorely missed as he leads the Tigers with 38 catches for 609 yards and five touchdowns. Wide out Sammie Coates will now assume the role as the top option for quarterback Nick Marshall, but the coaching staff has made it clear they have faith in the receiving core.
Auburn, who is ranked ninth in the nation, is hoping to rebound from a poor performance last weekend and faces another test when they must travel to the upset-minded Bulldogs. Georgia returns star running back Todd Gurley, who should be looking to breakout after a four game suspension, and could be a dangerous task for head coach Gus Malzahn. If the Tigers are able to overcome the Bulldogs, Williams will have potentially another week off against a weak opponent in Samford before a showdown against archrival Alabama. Each game continues to be critical for the Tigers and their College Football Playoff hopes as they aim to reach the pinnacle of college football.
*Section Photo credit to Mike Zarrilli, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to John Reed, USA Today Sports.