Amidst the hustle and bustle of the early national signing day, rumors began circulating about LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire sustaining an injury in Tuesday’s practice.
In his press conference after practice Wednesday, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron confirmed the injury but said he didn’t know the extent or a timetable for Edwards-Helaire’s return,
“I was just talking with (LSU trainer) Jack (Marucci) about it,” Orgeron said. “He (Edwards-Helaire) went and got some tests today. We’re going to know a little bit more towards the end of the week. He did not practice today, he could not practice.
“There was no contact (causing the injury). It was something that was unusual.”
Edwards-Helaire has been the bell cow this season for the No. 1 unbeaten Tigers, racking up 1,319 yards and 16 touchdowns on 197 carries. Not only has he been crucial for LSU’s running game, but he also has 50 receptions for 399 yards with a huge TD catch against Alabama in addition to providing stellar pass protection.
Orgeron said reserve running backs Tyrion Davis-Price, John Emery Jr. and Chris Curry have to step forward during the team’s preparations for the College Football Playoffs semifinal against Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl on December 28.
After Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow, second-teamer Davis-Price is the Tigers’ third leading rusher with 276 yards and six TDs on 60 carries. Third-teamer Emery Jr. has 189 yards and three TD on 36 attempts. while Curry has 103 yards and no TDs in 22 rushes during mostly late-game mop-up duty.
Combined, they amount to far less than half of Edwards-Helaire’s yards.
“Next man up,” Orgeron said. “If it’s their turn and Clyde can’t play, those guys have to step up and do very well. But I’m not sure if Clyde can or can’t play yet.”
Orgeron said that Davis-Price is ahead of the other backs as far if Edwards-Helaire is out. He also made it a point to say that all three could see the field.
“Clyde is so versatile,” Orgeron said. “He can do everything. Some guys, being young they’re only good at one thing and maybe not as good on other things. But all three guys can complement each other and we can play all three of them to do the things that we need to do. But Clyde is so versatile that we might need three guys to do the things he can do.”