LSU has been a bit banged up in recent weeks despite its emergence over a two-game winning streak. The team is starting to get healthier just in time for the biggest game of the season against the Alabama Crimson Tide in a contest between the leaders in the SEC West.
Brian Kelly offered a few positive updates when he took the podium on Monday ahead of game week. The most notable news regarded safety Major Burns, who has been sidelined since sustaining a neck injury against Mississippi State on Sept. 17.
“Major Burns is cleared to participate, so he’ll be out at practice today,” Kelly said. “He, as you can imagine, will be in our game plan and we expect him to play and be an important part of what we do.”
Joe Foucha has seen starting reps at safety since Burns left the lineup. Foucha missed the beginning of the season due to academic suspension, but he’s started to come into his own. Both Burns and Foucha can be expected to play a role in the rotation.
LSU will also hope to get one of its starters on the offensive line back this week in Garrett Dellinger, who hasn’t played since suffering an MCL sprain against Tennessee. Kelly was less committal on Dellinger’s availability, but he did say the sophomore guard was making good progress.
“Garrett Dellinger is day to day,” Kelly said. “He had a good weekend. He was here this weekend. As you can imagine, that’s a little bit different because he’s got to be able to take a load on that knee. When you’re coming back from a knee injury, it’s easier to, obviously, not have to worry about running and cutting. But you’ve got to be able to take the load, and that’s what we’re working on right now.
“We think we’re going to get him there, but it’s still a process because now, we’re going to add practice onto it. We’ve got to see how he responds each day after practice. We had people leaning on him individually over the weekend. Now, we’re going to be leaning on him for a full practice, and we’ll see how it goes. But he’s making good progress.”
Finally, LSU fans are awaiting news on a pair of skill-position players who missed the game against Ole Miss in Jack Bech and John Emery Jr. Bech suffered a lower back injury against Florida, while Emery missed with an Achilles injury.
Kelly didn’t have an update on Emery, but he did say that Bech will practice this week.
“I’m certain Jack will practice. … I did get a report before I got in here on Jack,” Kelly said. “He is much improved and he was cleared to get out on the practice field today.”
Even in what looks to be a slightly down year for Alabama, this is one of the most talented rosters in college football. LSU will need to be as close to full strength as possible if it hopes to pull off the upset and put itself on the inside track in the division race.
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