AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn strong safety Zac Etheridge was released from the hospital Monday, two days after suffering a neck injury against Mississippi.
Coach Gene Chizik said Monday that Auburn's medical staff is confident he will make a complete recovery. Chizik did not release details of the nature of Etheridge's injury and the junior is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Etheridge was hurt Saturday when he collided headfirst with teammate Antonio Coleman early in the game while they were trying to tackle Ole Miss running back Rodney Scott. He was strapped to a backboard before being taken off the field and gave a thumbs up on the way out.
Chizik hailed Scott after the game for his actions after Etheridge's injury.
Chizik said Scott's choice to stay still underneath the unconscious player rather than force his way off the ground may have saved Etheridge from more serious injury.
"I've got to give that young man a lot of credit," Chizik said. "I don't know how he knew, but he knew not to move. He sat as still as the night right underneath him. It was one of the most phenomenal things I've witnessed."
Scott talked with reporters Monday for the first time since the game. He said he tried to move with Etheridge on top of him but it quickly became apparent the player was seriously injured and unresponsive.
"It's a bunch of feelings going through my mind," Scott said. "I was thinking about it all day. If I would have moved he could have been paralyzed. Stuff like that, just a lot of stuff going through my mind."
The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Cross City, Fla., native said he's been getting a lot of congratulatory notes on his Facebook account.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said he was taken by surprise by Scott's level of maturity in the situation.
"What I couldn't believe was that Rodney, as a freshmen, had the presence of mind to not shove the guy a little bit so he could get up and get back in the huddle," he said. "We are always coaching to get off the ground and get back in the huddle. It was really a miracle that he didn't push the guy out of the way like we normally do. I was just really proud of the way he handled that."