LSU’s two AP preseason All-Americans are now both recovering from injuries.
Running back Derrius Guice and edge rusher Arden Key missed practice Monday and Tuesday, the first two days reporters were allowed to watch drills. Guice is nursing an undisclosed and “minor” injury that he suffered during Saturday’s scrimmage, the coach said, while Key’s status remains in doubt for the season opener against BYU.
Guice had his wisdom teeth removed, according to a post on Twitter by fellow LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Key, recovering from May shoulder surgery, was not cleared for contact during a visit to his personal doctor this week, Orgeron said. He remains doubtful, it would seem, to play in the Tigers’ Sept. 2 game against the Cougars in Houston.
Guice should be out just “a couple” more days, Orgeron said. Both Key and Guice landed on the AP preseason All-American team announced Tuesday.
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The team has spent the summer and its three-week camp preparing for Key’s absence. A junior who set the school single-season sack record last season, Key took a leave of absence for “personal reasons,” missing all of spring practice.
A trio of players, Andre Anthony, Ray Thornton and freshman K’Lavon Chaisson, are all battling to replace him. Orgeron expects all three players to play in that role, he said Tuesday.
“We’ve never prepared like Arden was going to be in the opener,” Orgeron said Tuesday. “That was never part of our mind. I wouldn’t have been surprised. I don’t think he’s going to be ready for the opener, but we just don’t know.”
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda explained Monday how LSU’s will play different without Key, aside from missing the athleticism of a player who many expect to be picked in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
“I think if you have Arden, you feature him. You get him into position to make mismatches,” Aranda said. “You find the weakest offender and put Arden there, then you try to show numbers away from Arden so there’s a choice that has to be made. So you gear everything you’re doing around him.
“If you don’t have Arden, you very much lose that aspect,” he said. “Now it’s a team. There’s more blitzes involved. I think there’s more, ‘We’re gong to show inside pressure to bring outside pressure. We’re going to show overload field pressure to bring boundary pressure.' It’s less a feature of Arden and more a team aspect to it.”
LSU’s starting quarterback competition is over.