Coach O: John Battle will start in Jefferson’s place
By JAMES MORAN
Tiger Rag Associate Editor
LSU will be without a starting safety this weekend and beyond.
Senior Rickey Jefferson broke his leg in practice Wednesday and will be out indefinitely, LSU coach Ed Orgeron confirmed at his post-practice pressed Thursday evening. Orgeron didn’t go so far as to rule the defensive back out for the rest of the season.
Jefferson suffered the injury during a non-contact portion of practice as the result of an inadvertent leg whip, Orgeron clarified.
“We wish him the best,” Orgeron said. “He’s going to try to come back. I know that.”
Junior John Battle will start in Jefferson’s place going forward, Orgeron said. Battle actually overtook Jefferson at times down the stretch last season and was considered for a starting role earlier this season.
“There was a point that we discussed John Battle starting,” Orgeron said. “Him and Rickey were tight, and so now it’s John Battle’s turn. John is a smart young man. He’s able to come in there and play all over. We’re going to miss Rickey, but I don’t think we’re going to skip a beat with John in there.”
Battle will slide in alongside junior Jamal Adams in the starting lineup. Xavier Lewis and Dwayne Thomas could also see time at safety in reserve roles.
Here’s some other newsy bits from Orgeron’s press conference:
– Orgeron once again confirmed LSU will start a reshuffled offensive line against Southern Miss with Andy Dodd at center, Ethan Pocic at right tackle and Maea Teuhema at left guard. He did add the line is subject to change based on performance or injuries.
– Linebacker Corey Thompson, who returned to practice this week, is in doubt to play against Ole Miss next Saturday, Orgeron said. He’d already been ruled out for Southern Miss after feeling soreness from practicing.
– LSU will wear decals on the back of its helmets to honor Mike the Tiger VI, who passed away Tuesday after a four-month battle with cancer. Here’s a look at the decals:
The memorial decal for Mike VI that the Tigers will wear this weekend pic.twitter.com/NU10zVIgdt
— LSU Football Equip (@LSUFBEquipment) October 13, 2016