By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Danny Etling’s mystery ailment is no longer a mystery.
The quarterback’s surgically-repaired back stiffened up during warm-ups before LSU’s 33-10 victory against Arkansas, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday, but he’s apparently feeling better as the Tigers prepare for a trip to Tennessee.
“He’s a lot healthier,” Orgeron said on the SEC Coaches Teleconference. “His injury, he re-injured his back throwing the ball before the game and it got knotted up a bit. So that’s all that was.
“Our trainer, Jack Marucci, did a great job, and he went through the game with some pain, but he made it through it. So he’s fine.”
Etling spoke with reporters Monday but declined to reveal any specifics about what was ailing him against the Hogs. He laughed off the idea that his availability was a “close call,” as Orgeron said earlier this week.
“I already call Tennessee and let them know where they could hit me at,” Etling shrewdly smiled.
Without getting specific, Etling did say that the injury hadn’t impacted his ability to play the position as opposed to the more serious back injury that zapped some of his arm strength last season. He went 11-of-16 for 217 yards and two touchdowns against the Hogs.
“You’re never going to be 100 percent per se,” Etling said Monday. “You know the difference between being injured and being hurt. Hurting is not the same as being out or injured. I recognize that difference.”
As always, true freshman Myles Brennan would be waiting in the wings if Etling can’t go.
– LSU has re-opened the kicking battle in practice again this week after Connor Culp missed a short field goal and two extra points Saturday. Orgeron said Culp and Jack Gonsoulin will compete all week before any decision is made.
– Orgeron on advice for interim coaches like Tennessee’s Brady Hoke, from his own experience: “Go hard man. Go hard. It’s your team for you don’t know how long it’s going to be, so go hard. Coach them the way you want to. Be yourself. Have some energy. Do things your way and enjoy every second of it.”