Senior suffered injury in practice Sunday
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Christian LaCouture’s senior season is over before it even began.
LSU’s starting defensive end tweeted Tuesday night that he tore his ACL in practice, confirming widespread media reports that a non-contact injury suffered in practice Sunday would indeed require surgery.
“I plan to attack this injury head on,” LaCouture wrote in a subsequent tweet, “and I will help and support this team from the sideline and watch them achieve greatness.”
The blow to the Tigers is two-fold. For one, LaCouture is one of LSU’s most seasoned defensive lineman (23 career starts) and dropped 12 pounds over the summer to better fit Dave Aranda’s 3-4 defense. He’s also the leader of a talented defensive front that projected as deep as any at LSU since 2011 or 2012.
As far as replacing LaCouture on the field, a lot depends on Travonte Valentine, who was cleared earlier Tuesday to re-join the program and begin practicing Wednesday. The massive 340-pounder has not yet been cleared to play in games.
Assuming Valentine is fully eligible, he could play nose tackle and allow Davon Godchaux to slide over to the defensive end spot opposite Lewis Neal. That’d leave junior Greg Gilmore and true freshman Ed Alexander at nose tackle along with Valentine.
The Tigers depth took a significant blow, but the depth chart behind Godchaux and Neal at end remains deeper than it’s been in recent years. Frank Herron and Gilmore could both work at end, as can freshmen Rashard Lawrence and the aforementioned Alexander.