Coach O: “He’s not ready”
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
All-American running back Leonard Fournette will likely miss his second consecutive game, LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday.
Fournette hasn’t practiced at all this week while continuing to deal with a lingering ankle injury that’ll sideline him for Saturday’s game against Southern Miss.
“I don’t think he’s going to play,” Orgeron said on the SEC Coaches Teleconference.
Fournette has been dealing with the injury since fall camp and hasn’t practiced or played since an 18-13 loss to Auburn on Sept. 24.
Orgeron credited the job Fournette has done as a leader, despite the injury, and offered the following when asked if he expects the junior tailback to play again at any point this season.
“Well it looks like it,” Orgeron said. “And it’s taking a little longer than we thought. Obviously we’re not going to rush it. We’re going to put him in when he’s 100 percent healthy and ready to go.”
Later on the call, Orgeron was asked if holding Fournette out was more of a precautionary move with Ole Miss, Alabama and a brutal November slate on the horizon.
“No, he’s not ready,” Orgeron said. “He’s not ready. It’s taking a little bit longer than we thought. I’m sure he wants to be ready, he wants to be playing, but he’s not able to even practice right now. It’s just taking a little bit longer than we thought.”
Orgeron declined to offer a estimation in terms of percent for Fournette’s healthy, chuckling that he thought Fournette would play against Missouri two weeks ago. The decision will be left to trainer Jack Marucci and his staff on a “day by day” basis, Orgeron said.