Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee wouldn't go into details Sunday night, but said he didn't expect the junior wide receiver to take the field again in 2013. Denson posted earlier in the day he tore his patellar tendon in his left knee.
"That's a big loss for us," Lashlee said following Sunday's practice. "He's a guy that's really been the leader for us, plays a lot of snaps, does a lot of things that maybe people don't see."
On the opening drive of Saturday's game, Nick Marshall threw a pass in Denson's direction in the right flat. When the junior wideout reached back to make a play on the ball, he slipped on the wet turf and went down hard while clutching his knee. He eventually had to be carted off the field.
At the time of Saturday's injury, Denson had three catches for 45 yards this season.
While disappointed to lose an experienced member of the receiving corps, Lashlee said it will give others an opportunity to fill the void.
The offensive coordinator nominated two candidates: the freshmen duo of Marcus Davis and Tony Stevens.
"He missed a lot of time in camp, but we've been bringing him along, and he had more of an involvement in the game plan and he had a couple of catches," Lashlee said of Stevens. "That's going to increase. Now we've got two weeks to really get him more reps, and we really think he's going to be in the rotation. He and Marcus Davis are two guys that we feel like can help us now, and I expect bigger things from Tony moving forward."
Fellow freshman receiver Dominic Walker doesn't fit into the plans yet, but Lashlee said that could change at a moment's notice.
"You're one or two more injuries away from being even thinner," he said. "You know, you've got Melvin Ray, he's going to step up. I thought Brandon Fulse did a good job the other night, and we've got some other guys we can mix and match. The bottom line is I feel good about the guys we're going with right now."
Sitting out the last two games hasn't changed Chris Davis' condition. Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said Sunday that the senior cornerback is still "day-to-day." The coach noted that many of the team's injuries this season haven't been serious, mostly "ankles and strains and stuff like that."
Davis, who suffered a foot injury in the win against Arkansas State, fits into that category.
"It’s not a broken bone or a surgery," Johnson said. "It’s just how quick does he come back off a rehab. I’m going to be optimistic and certainly say we’re going to have him for that next ballgame. Whether he’ll get to work much this week, I don’t know."
Brandon King's career-best game on Saturday was aided by nagging ailments to starting "Star" Robenson Therezie. Johnson said Therezie "had a neck stinger" that bothered him multiple times during the course of the game.
King, a junior college transfer, took advantage of the opportunity, notching the first three tackles (one solo, two assisted) since joining the Tigers this summer.
"Brandon came in and did a pretty good job for his first time with a lot of reps in a big-time college game," Johnson said. "That’s certainly going to help him down the road. (He) made a couple of mistakes and had a busted alignment, but that experience hopefully will help him."
Johnson had no update on defensive end Craig Sanders' status. ESPN's College GameDay reported he suffered an off-field injury last week. The senior did not travel with the team to LSU on Saturday.
"Don’t know anything about Craig," Johnson said. "I’m not sure how his (injury) is coming along."