LSU running back Leonard Fournette is "day (to) day," and middle linebacker Kendell Beckwith is out for the Tigers' game against Louisville in the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Eve, coach Ed Orgeron said.
Beckwith, a senior projected as a second to third-round NFL draft pick, suffered a serious knee injury in the loss to Florida on Nov. 19. His LSU college career is over, Orgeron confirmed. He'll miss the Orlando-based bowl game against the nation's top-ranked scoring offense.
It's a blow for the Tigers. Beckwith leads the team in tackles. The extent of his injury is unclear. Orgeron was not certain if Beckwith would play in the Senior Bowl, scheduled for Jan. 28.
Fournette, a draft-eligible junior who is expected to leave for the NFL after this season, missed the regular season finale against Texas A&M with an ankle injury that's lingered through the season. It was the fourth game that he's missed this year.
"We’re going to see," Orgeron said Sunday when asked if Fournette would play. "He’s been rehabbing his ankle. It’s getting better, but we’ll have to wait until practice. It will be day by day. We’re going to see when we start practice, see if he’s ready to go. Hopefully he is."
Bowl practice is expected to begin next week after the recruiting dead period ends on Dec. 12.
Fournette, a preseason Heisman Trophy favorite, suffered sprains to his low and high left ankle during the second week of preseason camp. They never completely healed, Fournette said, and he re-injured the ankle at least three times.
Fournette wants to play in the bowl, Orgeron said.
"He’s been in every meeting, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, wanting to go," the coach said. "He’s always indicated to me that he wants represents the LSU Tigers in the best way. I don’t see any other reason for anything to happen. Now, if the injury prevents him, it prevents him. But I think if he’s well, if he’s ready to go, he’s going to play."
Others expected back
Receiver Travin Dural, defensive end/outside linebacker Arden Key and cornerback Tre'Davious White are expected to return and play in the bowl game, Orgeron said.
Dural and Key missed the regular season finale at Texas A&M for different reasons, and White suffered an ankle injury in the second half of the 54-39 win at A&M. Key was suspended for that game, Orgeron said, despite the university confirming that he was out because of injury. He was suspended for a violation of team rules, the coach said.
Key, two sacks off tying the single-season school record, also has been nursing a shoulder injury. He is eligible for the bowl game and should play, Orgeron said. White (ankle) and Dural (unspecified injury) should also play, the coach said.
James Bewers contributed to this report.