LSU coach Ed Orgeron said starting quarterback Myles Brennan's first practice since his injury didn't go very well on Wednesday and that he is "very doubtful" to play against Alabama.
Wednesday was Brennan's first time in full pads since he suffered an abdominal injury on Oct. 10 against Missouri.
"He tried to practice today," Orgeron said on his weekly radio show Wednesday night. "He practiced a little bit. It wasn’t very good. It was hurting. So we’re going to see again tomorrow and see how much he can practice next week. Right now, I’d have to say he’s very doubtful the way it is.
Brennan has been patient during an unpredictable recovery from the abdominal injury, and his return to the practice field was thought to be a positive step toward the quarterback's possible return for LSU's game against the No. 2 Crimson Tide (6-0) on Nov. 14 in Tiger Stadium.
"Today he's going to practice a little bit for the first time," Orgeron said on the Southeastern Conference teleconference Wednesday morning. "We're going to give him some reps to see how he does, and then we'll take it day by day. But today will be the first time he actually practices with the team. He's going to be dressed in full gear. He's not going to take every rep. We're going to see how far he can go."
Brennan, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior, has missed two straight games, and LSU (2-3) suffered its worst defeat in over two decades against Auburn on Saturday without him.
True freshman TJ Finley struggled in his second career start, turning the ball over three times in a 48-11 loss — the largest losing margin for the Tigers program since 1996.
The LSU offense was stagnant throughout the game, and it became clear that the Tigers may need Brennan back more than ever as Alabama prepares for its trip to Louisiana.
As of Monday, Brennan had not yet practiced fully with LSU since his injury, and Orgeron said he'd attempt to see just how much Brennan could do in practice Wednesday. Orgeron has said Brennan has been working to get back his rotation, and that the injury was going to take an unspecific amount of time to heal.
“We’re going to throw the ball with him a little bit today," Orgeron told reporters Monday. "He’s going to try to get into the offense, see what he can do. He’s not ready yet. It’s day by day, and I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for the Alabama game. I think we’ll know a little bit more next week. We’re going to try to let him do a couple of things today, see how he can do it.”
While Brennan continues to heal, Orgeron said the true freshman quarterback battle between Finley and Max Johnson is ongoing. Orgeron said they expected Finley to take another step against Auburn, and "obviously he didn't."
Finley was 13 of 24 passing for 143 yards and two interceptions. Both interceptions led to Auburn touchdowns, and Finley lost the football on a sack-fumble that was returned for another score.
Johnson entered the game for good after Finley's second interception — a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Auburn defensive end Big Kat Bryant. Johnson finished the game 15 of 24 passing for 172 yards and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Kayshon Boutte to set the final score.
"We’re gonna have a competition between Max and TJ, just like we have," Orgeron said on his weekly radio show Wednesday night, "and let’s see who does the best job, and whoever does the best job, we’re going to start him."