BIRMINGHAM – Desperate for a boost to what has been an anemic pass rush, Auburn may not be able to count on the return of Carl Lawson this season.“At this point it’s up in the air,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said during his appearance at the Monday Morning Quarterback Club in Birmingham. “I don’t have any more information than I had before.”Lawson, who had off-season ACL surgery, was expected to earn a starting job after posting 20 tackles with 7 1/2 for loss and four sacks as a true freshman last season.Auburn (5-1, 2-1 SEC) has started a variety of defensive ends without Lawson in the lineup, including tackles Montravius Adams and Gabe Wright, junior college transfer DaVonte Lambert, LaDarius Owens and Gimel President.Lambert leads the Tigers with 2 1/2 sacks and no other defensive lineman has more than one as defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson has had to rely on blitzes in order to generate pressure. Auburn has just 11 sacks this season, tied for 10th in the SEC and 80th nationally.Johnson could not say if Lawson is expected to return.“I don’t know that. They just keep talking about how remarkably well he’s done, but I don’t know that,” Johnson said. “I think the hope was that he would be able to play before the end of the season. It’s not something right now that’s in the very near future that I’m aware of.”Lawson has not been available for interviews.