LSU true freshman offensive guard Kardell Thomas suffered an injury during Wednesday's practice and it "may be serious," coach Ed Orgeron said, although the coach's information was limited at the time.
Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 329-pound Baton Rouge native, was one of Orgeron's prize recruits in a 2019 class that ranked No. 5 nationally, according to 247Sports Composite rankings, and the former five-star recruit was expected to provide depth at a position that needed it.
"I don't know how serious it is," Orgeron said. "We're gonna see. I'm sure he'll be out for a little while. So that's another injury to an offensive lineman. So we gotta find some guys that can play there."
Thomas, a Southern Lab graduate, tweeted later Wednesday night that "I'll be back soon."
I Love Everybody Who Checked On Me I’ll Be Back Soon I Believe In Jesus Christ The One True God When I Say Soon I mean Soon In His Name. 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 #58 💛💜— Kardell thomas (@kardellt62) August 15, 2019
Thomas had recently returned from missing four straight practices from what Orgeron previously said was a "minor camp injury," and the LSU offensive line has been hampered by such injuries throughout the preseason — especially at offensive guard.
Sophomore Chasen Hines was expected to compete for the starting left guard spot, but he has slowly been recovering from an offseason knee surgery that kept him out of spring football and has missed three straight practices.
Senior Adrian Magee, who started twice at left guard in 2018, has been practicing with the first team, and Thomas was providing depth at the position until he suffered his injury Wednesday.
Senior right guard Damien Lewis, who started in all 13 games last season, has also missed three straight practices.
Orgeron said "hopefully" Hines can practice in Saturday's scrimmage, but he doesn't think Lewis will be able to scrimmage.
The preseason is somewhat resembling the injuries the offensive line had to deal with during the 2018 season, when it took LSU seven games to field the same starting rotation in back-to-back games.
At one point in the preseason, LSU practiced with just 11 of its 17 offensive linemen, and players like starting left tackle Saahdiq Charles and backup center Charles Turner have since returned from minor injuries.
Senior tackle Badara Traore, who Orgeron has called the team's "third offensive tackle," missed practice Wednesday after practicing Tuesday. The 6-foot-7, 320-pound lineman missed his first practice of the preseason on Monday.
True freshman tackle Thomas Perry has missed three straight practices.
Orgeron said he wants to be able to field his first team offensive line on Saturday "as much as we can."
As for a second team, or even a third team rotation, Orgeron said Traore has been getting some reps at left guard and there has been talks about whether to move a defensive lineman like Jakori Savage, who played offensive line last season, over to fill in for depth.
"We talked about that," Orgeron said. "We're not there yet, but that could happen."