Quarterback Nick Marshall has played a starring role in Auburn's surprising 7-1 start and rise to the top 15 of the BCS standings, so more than a few Tiger hearts were in their respective throats when Marshall left Saturday's 45-10 win over FAU with an apparent shoulder injury.
Speaking after Auburn's light Sunday practice, offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee confirmed that Marshall had injured his throwing shoulder and would not guarantee that the JUCO transfer would see the field against Arkansas this Saturday. But Lashlee was optimistic overall, saying the injury was "nothing major" and that the coaches "feel good about where he's at."
"He's sore, but he's a tough kid," Lashlee said, according to al.com. "Everything, from me knowing about him, and what we know so far, tells me he should be okay."
Lashlee said Marshall wasn't limited in practice, though it wasn't clear whether the practice asked Marshall to throw. Running back Corey Grant said Marshall "looked like the same old Nick."
The same old Nick would be very good news for the Tigers as they prepare to take on the Hogs in Fayetteville. Marshall is Auburn's third-leading rusher and a major part of the nation's fifth-ranked rushing attack, and after an up-and-down start to the season posted his second-highest QB rating of the season in the upset victory over Texas A&M.
If Marshall can't go against the Razorbacks, Jeremy Johnson did continue his strong true freshman season with a 10-of-16, 192-yard, 2-touchdown performance in relief of Marshall vs. FAU. But the game in College Station made it clear this is Marshall's team -- and that team stands to benefit greatly if Marshall is as healthy as Lashlee seems to believe he is.