AUBURN — Bryan Harsin is staying tight-lipped on starting quarterback T.J. Finley's status despite multiple reports that he isn't expected to play in the Tigers' SEC opener due to a shoulder injury.
Finley's right shoulder is in a sling and there is fear that he will multiple weeks, a source told the Montgomery Advertiser on Tuesday. But Harsin, when pressed about the quarterback situation Wednesday on the SEC coaches conference call, was noncommittal.
When asked specifically if Finley has been practicing this week, Harsin responded, "All of those guys are at practice."
"I don't know − all of those guys have been at practice," he said. "Every guy is at practice. If we have somebody that's a season-ending injury or they're in trouble, those might be the only two things that keep guys from being at practice. But our guys are always at practice."
Of course, being at practice is an important distinction form practicing. Harsin was then asked if he expects Finley to play for the Tigers (2-1) on Saturday (11 a.m. CT, ESPN) against Missouri (2-1).
"Well, we're working through who's going to be the guy at every position," Harsin said. "I talked about competition earlier in the week. So who's going to start for us? We'll see."
Backup quarterback Robby Ashford replaced Finley in the second half of Auburn's 41-12 loss to Penn State. Harsin said after the game that the change was not injury-related; Finley was benched.
That has been the narrative that Harsin continued to run with during his Monday news conference, saying "we'll let guys compete this week" in the quarterback room. He said Finley was healthy when asked.
Ashford is 15-for-29 passing with two interceptions this season. He also has 24 carries for 158 rushing yards. Auburn has mostly used him in rushing packages. With Finley injured, Texas A&M transfer Zach Calzada is also more likely to be in the mix this week. The third-string has not appeared in a game yet.
This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Auburn football: Will TJ Finley play vs Mizzou? What Bryan Harsin said