Auburn defensive end Dee Ford is expected to miss the season opener against Washington State because of a knee injury.
Tigers defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said Monday night that Ford will be out for the Aug. 31 game. Johnson says the team's top pass rusher will be out for an extended time but he's not sure how long.
Ford led the Tigers with six sacks last season.
He's expected to be a leader of the defensive line. The injury could force highly recruited defensive ends Carl Lawson or Elijah Daniel to play a bigger role early.
Johnson says backup cornerback Jonathan Jones also will miss the opener after undergoing ankle surgery on Monday following an off-the-field accident. Safety Demetruce McNeal was dismissed over the weekend following an arrest.