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LSU Shuffles The Lineup On Both Sides Of The Ball Due To Injury Spell

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

LSU football’s first bye week would not have come at a better time, but some injured players will still need more rest before getting back on the field.

LSU has a non-conference matchup with Utah State on Oct. 5, and multiple players could still be sidelined by then.

Coach Ed Orgeron called defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence “very doubtful” at Tuesday’s press conference and said edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson would not appear in the game either. Linebacker Michael Divinity’s injury — which he suffered in LSU’s win over Vanderbilt — is “pretty significant,” but both he and receiver Terrance Marshall have no timetable for their return.

Freshman defensive lineman Apu Ika has also been dealing with a minor injury and did not play against either Texas or Vanderbilt

“He practiced better today,” Orgeron said. “He came in (on Monday) and did some extra work. He looked like he was moving okay today. We’ll see more this week. He should have a good week.”

Orgeron said the offense will continue to spread the ball around during wide receiver Terrance Marshall’s absence, even if they do slightly alter the game plan to attack specific defensive backs in future games. The only major change is that tight end Stephen Sullivan will transition back into a receiver role with Marshall out.

“It’ll be good for Stephen and good for our team,” Orgeron said. “Our tight ends have played well and I think Stephan will step in there and play a big role. I do believe those other guys will step it up.

“The thing Stephen does is he catches those crossing routes. He has a big catch radius. He’s hard to cover one-on-one. I think it’s going to be his time and he’s going to play well.”

Due to injuries and the lack of depth on LSU’s defense, coaches moved tight end TK McLendon to the defensive line. Orgeron said that other lineman like Tyler Shelvin will need to step up in the coming weeks.

“I do believe when we get K’Lavon Chaisson back, he’s going to help us,” Orgeron said. “Now when we get Glen Logan and Rashard Lawrence back, we’re really going to be a three-deep defensive line.”

In better news, the Tigers got some much needed depth on the offensive line as sophomore Ed Ingram returned to practice for the first time since spring camp 2018. Ingram was charged with aggravated sexual assault last summer but the charges were dropped this past Friday.

Orgeron said Ingram he would be able to play against Utah State, but he wouldn’t be rushed along if he wasn’t game-ready.

“He looked fantastic — he’s been working out and lost some weight,” Orgeron said. “Our team had a little pep in our step. They all cheered for him when we announced that he was back today. It gives us a sense of confidence up front and a sense that we can do somethings with other guys.