Auburn suspends starting safety

The Sports Xchange

September 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm.

The loss of Jermaine Whitehead is a blow to Auburn's secondary. (John Reed-USA TODAY Sports)

Auburn suspended starting safety Jermaine Whitehead for Thursday night’s game against No. 20 Kansas State for a violation of team rules.

Whitehead did not accompany the fifth-ranked Tigers to Manhattan, Kan., for the nonconference game between top 25 teams.

One report indicated that the suspension resulted from Whitehead having a heated verbal confrontation with an assistant coach.

Whitehead ranks fourth on the team in tackles with 12 and has a team-leading two interceptions. He returned one interception for a touchdown in the season opener against Arkansas.

Freshman Stephen Roberts is listed on Auburn’s depth chart as the backup to Whitehead.

Last season, Whitehead finished with 65 tackles. He has started 26 consecutive games at safety.