Ed Paris spends his afternoons in the LSU defensive backs’ team meeting room, just like he has the past four years.
The difference this week is on the practice field: He’s not there.
Paris, a senior rotational player from Texas, suffered a significant knee injury in practice last week and will miss the 2017 season, Orgeron announced Monday – another blow to a young Tigers defense already dealing with several losses.
Orgeron is “hopeful” that Paris will be granted a medical redshirt, he said. Paris, a rotational player with starting safety Grant Delpit, underwent an “operation” on the knee recently, the coach said.
That doesn’t mean he’s absent from the football building.
“He’s always around here and smiling and making sure everybody knows he’s good,” cornerback Donte Jackson said Monday. “He wants us to know that he’s all right and that we should just keep playing. He’s always in (the film room). He gets treatment and then he’s right in there and tries to watch practice a little before he has to get his next treatment.”
Paris joins a lengthy list of defensive injuries.
Defensive end Rashard Lawrence will miss his third game this week when the 25th-ranked Tigers (3-1) host Troy (3-1) on Saturday, as he recovers from a right ankle injury he suffered last week against Syracuse. Lawrence missed games against MississippiState and UT-Chattanooga after suffering an injury to his left ankle in the season opener.
Nose tackle Ed Alexander remains somewhat limited. He returned to practice Monday after missing last week. He wore a soft cast on his right hand during drills. He injured the hand at MississippiState and missed the game against Syracuse. His status for this week is unclear.
Meanwhile, safety John Battle missed Monday’s practice, but Orgeron “thinks” the starting safety will be OK to play against the Trojans. He suffered what the LSU radio broadcast classified as a “stinger” against the Orange.
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Junior running back Derrius Guice could miss Saturday’s game against Troy, Orgeron said Monday, as he recovers from injuries that have now lingered into a third week.
Guice did not practice Monday.
“I don't know if he's going to practice this week, and I don't know if he's going to play,” the coach said. “We'll see how he goes on a day-to-day basis, but he's hurt a little bit right now.”
Guice’s injury has not been disclosed, but he appeared to injure his left leg or knee late in the third quarter of the loss at MississippiState. He missed the entire second half of the win over Syracuse.
Rosenberg to punt
For now, LSU’s punter is a 27-year old walk-on who used to pitch in the minor leagues.
Zach Von Rosenberg, a Lake Charles native who returned to college two years ago after a stint in pro baseball, will remain LSU’s starting punter “until he gets beat out,” Orgeron said Monday.
Coaches pulled sophomore Josh Growden on Saturday after back-to-back short boots, inserting the redshirt freshman Von Rosenberg. He hit punts of 49 and 40 yards
“Obviously both of those guys have done a good job, but we weren't pleased with the inconsistency, and Zach has shown that he can punt during the week,” Orgeron said. “Wanted to give him a chance. He did a very good job for us.”
Von Rosenberg, a former punter at Zachary, signed with LSU baseball as a pitcher in 2009 before turning professional later that year. He spent 2009-2014 in the minor leagues of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization.
The pass Stephen Sullivan dropped a few weeks ago would have scored a touchdown.
Campbell could redshirt
Reserve offensive guard Donavaughn Campbell is in line to redshirt this season, Orgeron said, while he recovers from injuries.
Campbell, a sophomore from Ponchatoula, battled “a couple” of injuries during camp, the coach said last month. He’s got an injury past. Campbell underwent surgery last December on his shoulder.
This time, it’s his left foot or ankle. He’s currently using crutches to get around.
“He may end up getting red-shirted this year,” Orgeron said. “I don't know that yet for sure.”
Mike Gegenheimer contributed to this report.
On Saturday night, Danny Etling experienced something for just the second time in a career that has spanned five years, two schools and 26 starts.