Ed Orgeron listed starting quarterback Myles Brennan as “very doubtful” to play against Alabama on his weekly radio show on Wednesday night.
Brennan practiced for the first time in full pads on Wednesday after suffering an abdominal injury against Missouri on Oct. 10, but Orgeron said Brennan was still hurting.
“He tried to practice today,” Orgeron said. “He practiced a little bit. It wasn’t very good. It was hurting. So we’re going to see again tomorrow and see how much he can practice next week. Right now, I’d have to say he’s very doubtful the way it is.”
With Clemson falling to Notre Dame in overtime on Saturday, Alabama will come to Baton Rouge as the new No. 1 team in the nation in the latest AP Top 25 rankings. The Tigers may have to depend upon a pair of freshmen in TJ Finley and Max Johnson to fill the void once again.
After an impressive debut against South Carolina on Oct. 24, Finley struggled on the Plains at Auburn last weekend, going 13-for-24, for 143 yards and two interceptions. Johnson saw some reps toward the end, going 15-for-24 passing for 172 yards and a touchdown.
“We’re going to have a competition between Max and TJ just like we had (last week), and let’s see who does the best job,” Orgeron added on Wednesday night. “And whoever does the best job, we’re going to start him.”
In the three starts he’s made this season, Brennan’s thrown for 1,112 yards and three touchdown passes. Even with a 1-2 record, he proved to be one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks through that span. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded him the second-highest graded quarterback in the conference behind Alabama’s Mac Jones.
His status or potential return from the injury both remain unclear at this time. The fear for many is that the injury could continue to linger throughout the season.
The Crimson Tide opened as a 22-point favorite over LSU on Sunday, a line that is expected to rise over the coming days. Alabama is coming off a 41-0 beatdown of Mississippi State, a team LSU lost to in its season opener.
“We’ve got the University of Alabama coming up, our biggest rivalry. That’s enough right there. It’s very challenging right now but we’ve gotta fix us, there’s a lot of mistakes,” Orgeron said. “There’s a lot of new players but we’ve gotta learn that in the SEC you must come ready to play every game. You’ve gotta go through some hard knocks to build that character, that grit that you’re gonna need several seasons from now when these young players are gonna learn how to win.”