BATON ROUGE, La. — Ed Orgeron didn’t go to medical school. But he’s been coaching football long enough to have a physician’s intuition when it comes to injured players.
That’s why he believes that star running back Leonard Fournette, who has missed LSU’s last two games with an ankle injury, will be back in the lineup next Saturday when the Tigers host Ole Miss.
“We think that he can [play],” Orgeron said. “But I thought he could play two or three weeks ago. I’m not a doctor. But I think he’s going to play.
“We’ve got to see how the week goes. I’m going to talk to [athletic trainer Jack Marucci] and see if [Fournette] can practice Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m not going to push him. If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. But the feeling is that he’s going to be ready, but we’re not for sure yet.”
Fournette’s backup Derrius Guice, who rushed 16 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns Saturday, was even more sure than Orgeron. Guice gave everything short of a guarantee that Fournette would start next weekend when he was asked about it, saying he “strongly agrees” that Fournette will play and he “can’t wait” to have him back.
Orgeron wasn’t ready to make anything official, and that makes sense since Fournette hasn’t stepped on the practice field during a media period since Orgeron took over as head coach. But even if Fournette doesn’t practice again this week, that doesn’t rule him out for next Saturday.
“I think [only playing people who practice] is a good rule until it gets about game time,” Orgeron said. “I just think you’ve got to smart there when you make those rules.”