AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn receiver D’haquille Williams remains suspended for an undisclosed disciplinary issue.
Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said Monday that Williams was out for the third consecutive day of practice. He also missed Auburn’s Fan Day on Sunday.
Malzahn declined to answer reporters’ questions on Williams’ status, saying twice, “I’ll tell you when he gets back.”
Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson also had little to say about the suspension but said that it “hasn’t been a distraction and we won’t let it be a distraction.”
“That’s not my responsibility,” Johnson said. “I’m just leaving that to him and coach but I feel really good about all the other receivers.”
Williams, a preseason All-Southeastern Conference pick, was also suspended for the Outback Bowl against Wisconsin.
He caught 45 passes for 730 yards last season despite missing three games.
The junior college transfer from East St. John is rated as a likely first-round NFL draft pick after returning for his senior season.
Williams thrived in the one game Johnson started last season. He had nine catches for 154 yards in his Auburn debut, when Johnson played the first half while Nick Marshall was suspended.
Fellow receiver Ricardo Louis said the team is “not going to let distractions hold us back.” Louis had 21 catches for 261 yards last season, second behind Williams among returning players.
“We’ve just been going,” he said. “We don’t skip a beat. Whoever’s not in, we’re going to have somebody else step up.”
RESERVE TIGHT END BRANISEL LEAVING PROGRAM: In Knoxville, Tenn., reserve tight end A.J. Branisel is leaving Tennessee’s football program.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones confirmed Branisel’s departure Monday and issued a statement saying that “we thank A.J. for his two years and wish him the best.” Jones said that “we are in the process of assisting him to find another opportunity.”
Knoxville radio station WNML first reported Branisel’s exit.
Branisel, a sophomore from Euclid, Ohio, redshirted last season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in November 2013. He caught three passes for 28 yards and a touchdown in 2013 before getting injured.
RB TYNER OUT OF CAMP, EXPECTED TO MISS SEASON: In Eugene, Ore., Oregon running back Thomas Tyner is out for fall camp and is expected to miss the season after shoulder surgery.
Coach Mark Helfrich confirmed that Tyner would not take part in fall camp, which opened on Monday. Oregon does not announce injuries as a policy.
But players confirmed that Tyner had surgery on his left shoulder and his return this season was doubtful.
Tyner appeared in 11 games last season, gaining 573 yards and scoring five touchdowns, primarily serving as backup to breakout freshman Royce Freeman while he struggled with injuries.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Oregon native was originally injured in the Ducks’ victory over Washington on Oct. 18. He missed the next game, and also sat out the regular season finale against rival Oregon State and the Pac-12 championship game against Arizona.
But he rebounded with a commanding performance in the Rose Bowl, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over Florida State.
In the 42-20 loss to Ohio State for the championship, Tyner led all Oregon rushers with 62 yards on 12 carries.
Byron Marshall, who has played at both running back and receiver, said he met with Helfrich and was told to prepare for a busy season.
“No one is sure how it’s going to go. I’m sure the coaches are still trying to figure it out. It’s news to everybody,” Marshall said.
Marshall, who is close to Tyner, said he’s trying to be supportive with phone calls and texts.
“He’s good, he’s good” Marshall said.
Tyner was a standout at Aloha High School west of Portland, rushing for 3,415 yards as a senior to set a single-season rushing record for the state. He scored 47 touchdowns, including 43 on the ground.
On his 18th birthday during his senior year, Tyner smashed state records with 643 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns in an 84-63 victory over Lakeridge High; only two prep players have rushed for more yards in a single game.
Tyner rushed for 711 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman at Oregon in 2013.
Last year he went into fall camp expecting a breakout season, but he was eclipsed by Freeman before he was hampered by the shoulder injury.