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 coach Ed Orgeron is not expecting defensive end Rashard Lawrence to play against Mississippi State this Saturday, he said Wednesday on the Southeastern Conference teleconference, but edge rusher Arden Key will start the game for the Tigers. 

Lawrence, a sophomore who Orgeron calls his most consistent defensive lineman, is recovering from an ankle injury he suffered in the season opener against BYU. Reporters spotted him in practice Tuesday in full pads and not donning a gold/limited contact injury, but the Monroe native did not participate in practice "full speed," Orgeron said.

Lawrence's left ankle was heavily taped during drills Tuesday. 

"Very questionable. I don't think he's going to play. He can't practice full speed right now," the coach said. "It's Wednesday already. I don't think he's going to play."

The Tigers may "move some guys around," Orgeron said earlier this week, without Lawrence on the field. He was replaced last week by sophomore Glen Logan. True freshman Neil Farrell rotated with Logan, both of them playing nearly an identical number of drives. 

Meanwhile, Key is healthy enough to return, but he was "a little rusty" at practice Tuesday, the coach said. The All-American junior is making his 2017 debut after sitting the first two games while recovering from May shoulder surgery. 

He'll start Saturday's 6 p.m. kickoff at State and will be a part of a rotation with freshman K'Lavon Chaisson.

"He was a little rusty yesterday," Orgeron said. "Got all the reps with the first team. His football condition is not what we want it to be right now. I think he's going to get there. We're going to have to rotate him in the game. He cannot play a whole game right now."

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.