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LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte (1) runs for a first down after making the catch as Auburn safety Zion Puckett (10) gives chase during the first half at Tiger Stadium on Saturday Oct. 2, 2021.

LSU star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte will miss the rest of his sophomore season with a right ankle injury, coach Ed Orgeron confirmed Monday.

Boutte fell to the ground after making an acrobatic catch along the sideline in the fourth quarter of LSU's loss to Kentucky. After athletic trainers examined him, Boutte left the field on a cart with a towel draped over his head.

Boutte’s father, Embrick, described the injury as nothing “major,” saying Boutte didn’t break any bones or tear the Achilles tendon. But Boutte will need a procedure Tuesday morning, his father said, and with the time frame needed to heal, he won’t be able to play again by the end of the year.

“Getting hurt mid-season,” Boutte’s father said, “you just don’t have enough season left.”

After emerging as one of the top wide receivers in the Southeastern Conference near the end of his freshman year, Boutte had become arguably the best receiver in the country. He finished the season with 38 receptions for 509 yards and nine touchdowns, which tied for the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision at the time of his injury.

Teams rarely had success covering Boutte, and he caught a touchdown in seven straight games dating back to last season, tying him with Jarvis Landry and Dwayne Bowe for the longest streak in LSU history. Though he caught eight passes for 73 yards, Boutte’s touchdown streak ended against Kentucky.

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Orgeron initially said Boutte wouldn't play against No. 20 Florida this weekend when asked about his status. But On3 first reported Boutte had a season-ending lower leg injury, and Orgeron later confirmed he would miss the rest of the year.

LSU will turn to its deep group of wide receivers to fill the void Boutte leaves behind, but all of them complemented Boutte the first half of the season. Statistically, the next-closest player is freshman hybrid tight end Jack Bech, who has 272 yards and one touchdown.

Other underclassmen have shown promising signs. Freshman Malik Nabers caught three passes for 66 yards and leapt for his first career touchdown against Kentucky. Freshman Brian Thomas Jr. has at least three catches over the last three games. Freshman Deion Smith had 135 yards and two touchdowns against Central Michigan.

Then there’s speedy junior Trey Palmer, who has two touchdowns this season, and veterans Jontre Kirklin and Jaray Jenkins. Orgeron also mentioned junior Devonta Lee, who has six catches, as an option.

“It’s not about No. 1 roles, it’s about someone coming up and making some plays,” Orgeron said. “I think all those guys have to step up, not just one guy.”

Email Wilson Alexander at walexander@theadvocate.com