Auburn quarterback Zach Calzada hasn’t stepped on the field through three games this season, and it doesn’t appear that will change between now and the end of the season. Auburn Live reported Thursday that Calzada, a redshirt sophomore from Sugar Hill, Georgia, will undergo season-ending surgery on his non-throwing shoulder and apply for a medical redshirt.
Calzada, a transfer from Texas A&M, was 184 of 328 (56.1%) for 2,185 yards, 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season. He started the final 10 games of the season in place of Haynes King, and threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns in the 41-38 win over Alabama on Oct. 9, 2021.
This is not a new injury for Calzada. He initially injured the shoulder, ironically, against Auburn on Nov. 6 last year. That injury forced him to very limited action this spring for Bryan Harsin’s Tigers. This second surgery on the shoulder is expected to take place soon in order for Calzada to be fully healthy when the Tigers hit the field in the spring of 2023.
The news that Calzada is injured isn’t exactly a shock to Auburn, but the confirmation of his absence comes amid massive quarterback uncertainty. Starter TJ Finley, ironically, injured his shoulder last week in the 41-12 loss to Penn State. AL.com reported Wednesday that Finley’s injury will keep him out of Saturday’s home game against Missouri. Harsin turned to redshirt freshman dual-threat quarterback Robby Ashford to finish the game. Ashford has seen action in the quarterback rotation in all three games, has thrown for 245 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and rushed for 158 yards.
Harsin dodged the question about his quarterback situation during his turn on the SEC coaches teleconference on Wednesday.
“We’re working through who’s going to be the guy at every position,” Harsin said. “We talked about competition earlier in the week. Who’s going to start for us? We’ll see.”
With Calzada reportedly out and Finley reportedly sidelined as well, Harsin could be left with Ashford and 6-foot-3, 212-pound true freshman Holden Geriner on the depth chart in what will not only be a pivotal game for the 2022 Auburn Tigers, but for Harsin’s job security on the Plains moving forward.