By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
LSU has lost one of its veteran defensive backs for the season.
Senior safety Ed Paris underwent knee surgery Monday morning and will miss the remainder of the season, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced Monday, and LSU may seek a medical redshirt to get Paris an additional year of eligibility.
“Ed’s going to be out for the season,” Orgeron said. “Just went through an operation, and hopefully we can red-shirt him and get him back for next year.”
Before the injury, Paris was the backup to true freshman Grant Delpit at free safety. Eric Monroe, who was rated the No. 1 safety in the 2016 recruiting class, will now occupy that role. Xavier Lewis has also played the position.
Orgeron said freshman JaCoby Stevens, rated the No. 1 safety in in the 2017 class, is not presently considered an option. Stevens moved to wide receiver during training camp and has worked at multiple offensive positions during practice in recent weeks.
“Yeah, he could be, but he’s doing so well on offense that we’re not going to do that right now,” Orgeron said when asked if Stevens would be an option. “Obviously, that would be an emergency, but we’re not ready to go there yet.”
Paris suffered a “freak injury” during practice while working on the field goal block team. LSU defensive backs wrote “Ed” and Paris’ No. 21 on sleeves and wrist bands during Saturday’s 35-26 victory over Syracuse.
John Battle, LSU’s other starting safety, didn’t practice Monday and his status is uncertain for Saturday’s game against Troy. Orgeron did express come confidence he’d play.
“John is out right now, but I think he’s going to play this week,” Orgeron said. “So we have to see as the week goes by. But I think he’s going to be fine.”
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Defensive end Rashard Lawrence (ankle) isn’t expected to play against Troy, Orgeron announced. He was absent from practice Monday afternoon.
“He will not play this week, and hopefully we can have him by next week against Florida,” the coach said.
The sophomore missed two games with an ankle injury suffered in the season opener. He returned against Syracuse and made five tackles (one sack) only to injure the other ankle.
Running back Derrius Guice was also absent from practice Monday and his status is questionable for Troy.
Guice missed practice time last week due to an injury suffered against Mississippi State. At one point he was ruled out for the Syracuse game only to practice Thursday and be medically cleared to play in a limited role.
“I don’t know if he’s going to practice this week, and I don’t know if he’s going to play,” Orgeron said. “We’ll see how he goes on a day-to-day basis, but he’s hurt a little bit right now.”
– Zach Von Rosenberg will remain LSU’s punter “until he gets out” after replacing Josh Growden on Saturday night. “I think Zach’s going to be our punter until he gets beat out,” Orgeron said. “Obviously both of those guys have done a good job, but we weren’t pleased with the inconsistency, and Zach has shown that he can punt during the week. Wanted to give him a chance. Think he had a 45 and 55 yarder. He did a very good job for us.”
– DJ Chark will remain LSU’s punt returner. Orgeron said LSU lost 57 yards of hidden yardage as a result of misreads fielding punts against Syracuse, but deemed that the fault of the coaches. “He needs to be coached better,” Orgeron said. Chark said Orgeron has taken a more hands-on role on the return team and told him to stand with his feet at the 8-yard line instead of the 10.
– Freshman Ed Ingram is still considered LSU’s starting right guard, Orgeron said. Ingram was pulled in favor of Adrian Magee against Syracuse. LSU has also discussed moving Will Clapp from center to guard, but such a move isn’t imminent, Orgeron said.
– Offensive linemen Donavaughn Campbell is out and may end up redshirting, Orgeron said.