RB LaDarius Perkins will play, QB Tyler Russell expected to play

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Tyler Russell, Nickoe Whitley and LaDarius Perkins are three players the Mississippi State football team can ill-afford to be without for very long.

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Fortunately for the Bulldogs, the trio who sat out MSU's 51-7 throttling of Alcorn State is expected to be back this weekend when the Bulldogs face Auburn in the first Southeastern Conference game of the season for both teams. MSU coach Dan Mullen said as much in his Monday news conference, although Russell, a fifth-year senior starting quarterback, hasn't yet been medically cleared to practice.

Russell sustained a concussion in MSU's 21-3 loss to Oklahoma State in Week 1, a key reason the Bulldogs' offense sputtered. Mullen has said he expects Russell to play against the Tigers, but doesn't know when he will get the green light to practice.

Perkins, who is looking to post back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, missed the Alcorn State game with an ankle sprain. Whitley, MSU's lone returning starter in the secondary, will be back to face Auburn, as well.

All three are seniors and considered late-round possibilities for the 2014 NFL Draft.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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