BYU LSU Football

LSU defensive end Rashard Lawrence (90) BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum (12) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld) ORG XMIT: LAST123

Scott Threlkeld

LSU is getting back Arden Key, but coach Ed Orgeron is unsure on another defensive starter.

Defensive end Rashard Lawrence is “questionable” for the Southeastern Conference opener at Mississippi State, the coach said Monday, but Lawrence did return to practice later in the day. 

Lawrence, the Tigers’ most consistent defensive lineman who won a starting job in spring, injured his ankle or foot during the season-opening win over BYU, but he finished out the game. He missed practice last week and did not play in the 45-10 victory over Chattanooga. He was spotted on the sideline Saturday in a walking boot on his left foot.

“I don't know if Rashard Lawrence will play this week,” Orgeron said Monday. “I don't even know how much he's going to practice this week. That's still questionable.”

About five hours later, reporters spotted Lawrence at practice, working through drills with other players. That does not guarantee his return for this week's game in Starkville. LSU players participate in a pad-less light practice on Mondays.

More about Lawrence's status will be known later in the week. Reporters are allowed in to watch brief portions of Tuesday and Wednesday's drills. 

Lawrence is one of two defensive linemen that the Tigers were missing last week, joining fifth-year senior Frank Herron. Herron also missed the season opener. Orgeron has not disclosed the reason for Herron’s absence, but suggested that it regards his eligibility. He’s “not cleared,” the coach said last week.

Sophomore Glen Logan replaced Lawrence as the starting defensive end against Chattanooga, but true freshman Neil Farrell played in nearly as many drives as Logan. LSU’s depth on both the offensive and defensive lines is somewhat of an issue.

“Obviously if Rashard Lawrence doesn't play, we may have to move some guys around,” Orgeron said Monday.

Kicking woes

Coaches plan to “try different techniques” this week with their field goal kickers, Orgeron said Monday.

One thing that won’t change: the kickers.

“Obviously we need to fix our field goal unit and we're going to work on it very hard this week and try some different things. It won't be different guys because those are the guys we have,” he said. “We'll try different techniques and work very hard with them.”

Orgeron expressed disappointment in his kickers after the win over Chattanooga on Saturday. Jack Gonsoulin, from 40 yards, and Connor Culp, from 47, each missed a field goal. Gonsoulin, a walk-on from Catholic High who beat out Culp in a camp competition, dropped to 2 for 4 in kicks on the season. Culp made a 45-yard field goal late in the game.

Make it 20

More true freshmen have played this season at LSU than any other program in the nation.

Twenty 2017 signees have seen action through the first two games of the season. F-back Tory Carter and receivers JaCoby Stevens and Mannie Netherly played in LSU’s win Saturday against UT-Chattanooga.

Just two eligible signees have not played in a game this year: tight end Aaron Moffitt and quarterback Lowell Narcisse. Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin is academically ineligible. 

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.