The shoulder injury T.J. Finley sustained during Auburn’s loss to Penn State last weekend does not seem to be a serious one.
Auburn coach Bryan Harsin indicated Monday that Finley will not miss any time because of the injury, saying the junior quarterback will be “good going into this week” as Auburn begins SEC play against Missouri. Auburn (2-1) and Missouri (2-1) will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium, with the game airing on ESPN.
Finley hurt his shoulder late in the first half of last weekend’s 41-12 loss to Penn State when he took a hit and fell on it. He appeared to be favoring it heading into halftime.
The junior remained in the game and started the third quarter for the Tigers, but he was pulled after two second-half drives, the last of which ended when he was sacked on third-and-12 and fumbled the ball, which the Nittany Lions recovered. It was his second turnover of the game and one of four Auburn committed Saturday.
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“It’s football, right?” Harsin said. “Guys get (banged) up.”
Harsin indicated after the game that Finley’s shoulder had nothing to do with the decision to remove him from the game. Instead, the quarterback was benched due to ineffective play, with Harsin and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau wanting to see what Robby Ashford could do in extended action on an afternoon that Auburn’s offense struggled against Penn State. Finley finished the game 11-of-19 passing for 152 yards, an interception and two fumbles, one of which he lost.
In three starts this season, Finley has completed 33-of-53 passes (62.3 percent) for 431 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. He has turned the ball over five times in total, as Auburn has posted a minus-eight turnover margin on the season, which is the second-worst in the nation.
Finley was still listed atop Auburn’s depth chart at quarterback Monday, but Harsin was noncommittal during his weekly press conference about who would start at the position against Missouri this weekend, echoing his postgame comments from Saturday when he said the coaching staff will continue to evaluate that position, like it does every position, to put the best players on the field.