Eleven preseason football practices are done and 17 days before its 2021 season opener at UCLA, LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s Tigers are doing their best to battle the typical daily south Louisiana afternoon summer heat and rainstorms and a continuous string of injuries that apparently hasn’t slowed.
In his 13-minute post-practice Zoom press conference Wednesday, Orgeron mentioned five players who either just got hurt (offensive linemen Anthony Bradford and Chasen Hines), got hurt last week and are still out of action (defensive back Derek Stingley, Jr.), had been hurt and returned to practice (safety Jay Ward) and had been hurt and returned to practice and was re-injured (running back Ty Davis-Price).
“We have some injuries, especially on the offensive line, and we’re at a point right now where you have to push, you have to be out in the elements and we have to scrimmage,” Orgeron said. “We’ve got to get our guys game-ready also.
“It’s a fine line. We’re at that part of camp when you want to be hard and push them, but you want to be smart and pull off at the right time.”
Orgeron said Stingley, who sat out all last week with an undisclosed injury, will now apparently be held out of practice until the week of the season opener.
“We’re going to layoff him next week and the week after he should be fine,” Orgeron said. “He’s going to be a 100 percent then and we won’t have to worry about re-aggravating it.”
The myriad of injuries may force Orgeron to alter Saturday’s upcoming preseason No. 2 scrimmage in Tiger Stadium.
“I’m going to see how healthy we are on Saturday and see the number of plays we can go,” Orgeron said. “Maybe limit the type of scrimmages that may cause injuries to offensive linemen, like goal line and short-yardage,” Orgeron said. “Maybe we’ll have just teach periods. We have to adjust to the injuries we have.”
Other subjects Orgeron covered were:
On the importance of winning the season opener
“I look at it the same way (as the 2018 season opener vs. Miami). It’s on the road (playing an) unknown team. We’re an unknown team. We know what we have but we’ve got to go out and prove it.
“We’ve got to be hungry. There’s going to be challenges. It’s going to be at their house. They have some great athletes on the football team. It’s the first time we’ve gone out to Los Angeles with our football team. It has to be a business trip.
“There’s going to be some obstacles we’re going to have to overcome during the game. It’s our first game together and they (UCLA) will have already played a game (Aug. 28 at home vs. Hawaii).”
On currently being in the “dog days” of preseason camp
“Here’s what I told them (LSU’s team). The work (hitting in pads with temperatures in the upper 90 with a heat index of more than 100 degrees) we did yesterday (Tuesday) and today (Wednesday) we’re going to use during the season.
“I went back and showed them the (2018) Auburn game on Sept. 15 that we played at 2:30. I showed them the (2018) game we played (at Florida) in The Swamp at 2:30 p.m. . .that’s what we’re doing now. We’re preparing for those days. We know those days are going to come, they’re probably going to come the first game.
“The only way to prepare for that is to do it. It was challenging today like it was yesterday.”
On when quarterback Myles Brennan will return after breaking his left arm almost three weeks ago
“He’s just getting over the pain, he’s just getting to where he’s coming back around. Obviously, it was emotional for him. I think they are going to try and put the pads on him as soon as they can, maybe start throwing the ball in a month.
“I’m not in a hurry. I’m not going to rush him. I want him to be ready. I was told he would come back sometimes this season, as early as mid-season and as late as the open date or (the) Alabama (game), somewhere around there. None of that is definite.”