E.A. Sports Today

Roc Thomas hurt driving to AU camp

UPDATES with Malzahn comment Friday

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Roc Thomas, the five-star Mr. Football running back from Oxford expected to battle for playing time as a freshman at Auburn, was involved in a midday car accident Thursday and sustained an injury to his wrist, sources close to the player have told East Alabama Sports Today.

According to the sources Thomas was approaching Auburn when the accident occurred. It wasn’t immediately clear how many vehicles or individuals were involved.

Local sources declined to identify the location of the incident and Opelika troopers and police in Opelika and Auburn have no record of responding to any incident involving an individual named Racean Thomas.

Auburn athletics department officials did not address the issue until Friday when Tigers coach Gus Malzahn confirmed Thomas suffered a minor injury in an auto accident, but practiced Friday “without limitations.”

The Montgomery Advertiser reported Thomas was at practice Friday and “did not appear to show any signs of being hurt.”

Thomas was taken to the hospital after the accident where the source said he complained of a wrist injury. The injury was later described by local sources as “nothing serious, very minor, nothing broken.”

A staffer at East Alabama Medical Center said Thursday an individual with the name Racean Thomas was in the emergency room. Thomas was discharged later in the day.

Tigers offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and running backs coach Tim Horton were said to have checked in on the freshman at the hospital.

Thomas had been home since last Thursday and was on the way back to report for camp later that evening. The Tigers, ranked fifth in the Coaches Poll, opened practice Friday.

Thomas rushed for 2,211 yards and 32 touchdowns last fall at Oxford. He was the top running back on the Tigers’ recruiting board and his biography on the Auburn website called him the “nation’s most dynamic runner.”

He is joining a crowded backfield vying for spots in the run-by-committee ground game that will replace Tre Mason. The stable includes seniors Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant, redshirt freshman Peyton Barber and true freshman Kamryn Pettway.

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