For the first time since preseason camp started Saturday, there was an unusually high number of absentees when the LSU football team took the field for its fifth practice Wednesday afternoon.
In the portion of practice open to media, nine defensive players were missing although it wasn’t known if they were held out for the entire session. Three scholarship players on offense were also not present.
Topping the missing on the defensive side were nose tackle Ed Alexander and All-American cornerback Greedy Williams. Alexander, who has been dealing with leg issues, was not seen for the second day in a row.
After practice, Orgeron said Williams and Alexander are dealing with minor injuries.
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He said Williams was held out as a precaution Wednesday, but noted he didn’t know if he’ll be available for Saturday’s scrimmage in Tiger Stadium.
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Orgeron said Alexander, a former member of the Southeastern Conference’s All-Freshman team, was able to practice the first three days of preseason camp.
Also out were safety Eric Monroe; defensive end Neil Farrell; nose tackle Tyler Shelvin; linebackers Tyler Taylor, Patrick Queen and Micah Baskerville; and cornerback Manny Netherly.
Baskerville, a highly-rated freshman, has not been seen during individual drills since Sunday.
While Shelvin didn’t take part in individual drills, an LSU official said he participated in the pre-practice stretch with his teammates.
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On offense, tight end Jacory Washington, running back Lanard Fournette and tackle Cameron Wire were missing during individual drills. Wire was expected to be limited at the start of preseason practice with a knee injury he suffered last fall at East Ascenion High, but has been participating.
The quarterback rotation during individual drills changed slightly Wednesday.
While junior Justin McMillan and sophomore Myles Brennan had alternated taking the first snap in most drills through the first four practices, grad transfer Joe Burrow moved up to the second spot Wednesday.
McMillan took the first snap, followed by Burrow, Brennan and redshirt freshman Lowell Narcisse although it’s likely the rotation will continue.
Burrow had been the fourth guy up during media viewing Saturday through Tuesday.
While the Tigers had to retreat into their indoor practice facility Monday and Tuesday because of lightning in the area, they were able to remain outside on their grass fields — at least during the 25-minute viewing window for media.
But it didn’t last long as ominous-looking clouds rolled in and chased the team inside just after the media had been ushered out. It was the third day in a row that dark clouds forced them indoors.
Freshman running back Tae Provens, who didn’t take part in individual drills Tuesday, was back on the practice field Wednesday.
Also, freshman wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase shed the yellow, noncontact jersey he wore Tuesday while participating in team drills.
For the first time since preseason camp started, the Tigers were in full pads Wednesday gearing up for their first scrimmage on Saturday afternoon in Tiger Stadium.
They’ll practice for the sixth consecutive day Thursday, then get their first day off Friday. They will also be off Sunday following Saturday’s scrimmage.