LSU defensive end Ali Gaye will undergo surgery, sidelining him for the rest of the season with a upper-body injury, sources told ESPN and The Advocate. Gaye is third player on the active roster to be to be added to LSU's page-long injury list.
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Gaye has been a critical position player on the defensive side of the ball. This season, he has been accountable for 13 solo tackles, six assist tackles and two and a half sacks. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound edger rusher from Lynwood, Washington was in the midst of topping his performance from his breakout 2020 season.
In 2020 Gaye totaled 32 tackles, 19 of those were solo and 13 were assists, with two sacks on the season. In 2021 he was on track to break his previous years stats and provide a momentum piece to the already injury-ridden defense.
Head Coach Ed Orgeron commented on Gaye’s reoccurring injury; "Just kept on popping out, popping out." Gaye’s teammates sent encouragement Thursday on Instagram, “Praying for a safe and healthy surgery bro!” senior defensive end Soni Fonua wrote. “Shake back!”
LSU’s defensive line will also be missing senior defensive end Andre Anthony, who is out for the season with a knee injury. Orgeron said that freshman Maason Smith, who was recruited as a five-star left defensive end, will fill in for Gaye, BJ Ojulari will also fill in the defensive line, with Neil Farrell Jr. starting at nose tackle.
Earlier this week, star cornerback Elias Rick and wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, were confirmed to be out for the remainder of the season, also undergo surgeries. All-American cornerback Derek Stingley who has not suited up since Central Michigan, has no timetable for return following a foot surgery.
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With six games remaining, most of which are against ranked conference rivals, LSU will have to place their future in the hands of the backups.