LSU running back Leonard Fournette will not play in the Tigers' home opener Saturday night against Jacksonville State. The running back did not dress out for the game.
Fournette, one of the nation's Heisman Trophy favorites, is nursing a bruised ankle he suffered in the season-opening loss against Wisconsin last week at Lambeau Field. The bruise is on the same ankle he sprained during preseason camp.
The junior entered Saturday as a game-time decision, according to coach Les Miles, but he briefly warmed up with other players before a thunderstorm hit the city and delayed the 6:32 p.m. kickoff.
"I think Leonard Fournette is a go or, if not a go, we won’t know until game day," Miles told a member of the football team's support staff in a video posted on the school's website Friday.
Running back Leonard Fournette is likely a game-time decision for LSU's home opener against …
Fournette missed a week of camp after spraining the ankle during the second week of drills. He suffered a significant bruise to the same ankle on his final carry in LSU's 16-14 loss to Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. Miles called it a "contusion, a nice bruise."
It's unclear whether Fournette has practiced this week. The coach declined to answer that question Wednesday during a post-practice news conference. His responses indicated Fournette rested for much of this week. Asked Wednesday whether Fournette would play Saturday, Miles said, "as far as I know."
Fournette ran for 138 yards last week in the Tigers' first season-opening loss since 2002, breaking out in the second half to help LSU to a 14-13 lead in the third quarter. He caught a 31-yard pass to set up the Tigers' only offensive touchdown.
Fournette's left ankle could be a concern moving forward. He missed a week of preseason camp with the injury, wearing a walking boot for much of that time. Miles described the sprain then as "slight." The coach claimed Fournette was 100 percent healthy for the game against the Badgers. Fournette did not speak to reporters after the game or this week.
Derrius Guice, an electric sophomore from Baton Rouge's Catholic High, is Fournette's backup, followed by junior Darrel Williams and sophomore Nick Brossette.
Fournette is chasing a handful of LSU career rushing records, and he's still one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy. The Tigers begin a string of four straight Southeastern Conference games next week with a home matchup against Mississippi State. LSU then travels to Auburn, hosts Missouri and visits Florida.