LSU may indeed be without its starting quarterback when the Tigers play South Carolina on Saturday.
Another update in Wednesday morning's SEC teleconference revealed it is most likely that true freshmen quarterbacks TJ Finley and Max Johnson are LSU's options.
"We don't think that Myles Brennan's going to be able to play," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "It's still not 100% yet, but he's very questionable."
Brennan has yet to practice after suffering an abdominal injury against Missouri, and Orgeron said he's continued to spend time rehabbing with team athletic trainers.
The injury, which won't require surgery, is taking longer to heal than expected. Orgeron has said they once thought Brennan could return as early as Monday's practice. Now the timeline has extended to an indefinite period.
Orgeron said LSU athletic training director Jack Marucci told him that the recovery timeline varies for each person, and it could possibly be an injury that heals quickly or lingers for the rest of the season
"He could be healed by next week or he couldn't be," Orgeron said. "This could be a lingering deal. It all depends on his body, how he heals properly. Just talking to Jack, each person's different. We're just gonna have to go along with it. When he's ready, we'll put him back in."
Meet TJ Finley and Max Johnson, the two freshman quarterbacks responsible for leading LSU's offense against South Carolina if starting quarterback Myles Brennan misses the game.
"I'm not saying he won't (play)," Orgeron added. "Some miraculous thing may come up. But right now, we're looking to go with TJ and Max."
The injury occurred at the end of the first quarter near the Missouri goal line. On a two-yard touchdown pass to Terrace Marshall, Brennan got dragged down from behind while throwing the football.
Even during the initial moments following his injury, Brennan still went on to post a career-high against Missouri with 430 yards passing and four touchdowns — 321 yards and two touchdowns after the fateful tackle.
Brennan “was very sore” at halftime, Orgeron said, and “it was hard for him to rotate to throw the ball.”
Orgeron said adrenaline kicked in for Brennan, which helped the 6-foot-4, 210-pound junior to finish the game. Brennan's rotation was good enough for Marucci to approve his going back onto the field.
"He’s fired up in the game," Orgeron said. "Players go through pain. Believe me, if he wasn’t able to play, we would’ve never put him in. He wanted to play and Jack thought he could play so that’s why we put him in.”
Freshman quarterback TJ Finley's natural arm strength, redefined body and deepened mental understanding of the game have prepared him for the possibility he'll start for LSU against South Carolina.
After the game, Brennan grew more sore. His ability to rotate became more restricted as his body tightened.
"It's hard for him to go through the regular quarterback mechanics," Orgeron said. "It's not healed enough properly for him to perform his duties."
Finley and Johnson are competing for the starting spot this week, and Orgeron said they’ll likely be told who’s starting after Thursday’s practice. Neither freshman has yet seen collegiate playing time, and Orgeron said he still plans on giving them both a chance to play against South Carolina “to see what they can do.”
"We're not going to change the offense," Orgeron said Wednesday. "We kept the same offense. We'll be running the same plays. Nothing's changed much because that's what they've been running. They want to give both a chance to compete and both have competed very well. I have no problem starting either one."