LSU gets its bye week much earlier thanks to a caveat with the NCAA schedule this year, and the Tigers are also getting back sophomore guard Ed Ingram, who started 12 games in 2017.
Coach Ed Orgeron met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the bye week, the team's performance the first four weeks and, of course, Ingram's return.
Ed Ingram practices for the first time in over a year
Ingram has been away from the team since Aug. 2018 due a suspension related to sexual assault charges in Texas. The charges were dismissed last week, and Ingram was reinstated to the team.
Orgeron said Ingram looked fantastic and should be ready for the Oct. 5 game against Utah State, but the sophomore will still have to earn his starting spot over senior Adrian Magee, who has started the first four games at left guard.
"He gave our team a little pep in their step — they all cheered for him when we went out and said he was back today," Orgeron said. "I think he gives us a sense of confidence up front and a sense we could do some things up front with other guys to give us more depth."
One of the options on the table is to use Magee as a utility lineman on the right side, which is a similar role he played last year, if Ingram wins the starting job — something Orgeron says is probably going to happen.
Notable Injuries and bye week
For most of the last decade, LSU's bye week has fallen directly before the Alabama game. LSU bye week remains the same this year, but, due to Labor Day being earlier and Thanksgiving later in November, the college football calendar has 14 weeks this season, giving each team two bye weeks.
So in addition to a bye week in late October, early November, LSU's bye week arrived early. Under similar calendar circumstances in 2013 and 2014, LSU's additional bye week came in November unlike this year.
"We go four games then a bye and four games then a bye," said Orgeron, who added the extra bye week gives LSU a leg up in recruiting as well. "I think it's a perfect schedule."
It's a welcomed sign for Orgeron whose team is missing multiple starters due to injury. Junior safety Todd Harris Jr. has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury, and sophomore wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. will not return until the final portion of LSU's schedule after having surgery on a foot fracture he suffered against Vanderbilt.
Other injuries of note:
- Senior linebacker Michael Divinity Jr.- lower leg (suffered at Vanderbilt)
- Senior cornerback Kristian Fulton- shoulder (suffered at Vanderbilt)
- Senior defensive end Rashard Lawrence- lower leg (suffered at Texas)
- Junior fullback Tory Carter- undisclosed
- Junior wide receiver Justin Jefferson- ankle sprain (suffered at Vanderbilt)
- Junior defensive end Glen Logan- lower leg (suffered at Texas)
- Sophomore quarterback Myles Brennan- undisclosed
- Sophomore linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson- ankle (suffered at Texas)
Of the names above, only Chaisson and Fulton practiced Tuesday. Orgeron said both Brennan and Carter will be fine going forward, but Lawrence is doubtful for Utah State, and there is "no way" Logan will play in the next game.
Divinity's injury isn't as serious as originally thought, according to Orgeron, and Jefferson tweeted out he suffered a minor ankle sprain after the Vanderbilt game. However, neither player has a timetable to return.
Position Changes: Fulton may move to nickel, Stephen Sullivan back to wide receiver
LSU is making an interesting adjustment by moving Fulton from outside corner to nickel, where junior Kary Vincent Jr. has started the last season and through four games so far.
"We're just talking about it a little bit," Orgeron said. "Putting the best guys on the field in certain situations, and that may require a situation where we put Fulton [at nickel] and give [freshman Cordale Flott] a chance at cornerback. We just want to see."
Another change is moving senior Stephen Sullivan back out to wide receiver after he transitioned to tight end this past offseason. Through four games Sullivan had seven catches for 99 yards.
"He can still play the tight end spot if we need him, but he'll mainly be a receiver out there since we don't have Terrace right now, and I do believe he's a very good one," Orgeron said. "I think it'll be his time, and he'll play well."
Junior tight end T.K. McLendon has been moved to defensive line after injuries to Lawrence and Logan. That leaves Carter and juniors Thaddeus Moss and Jamal Pettigrew at tight end.