Foot fix, Stingley taking stock of career

Published 11:05 am Thursday, October 7, 2021

LSU junior cornerback Derek Stingley had a procedure performed on his ailing left foot, but he and head coach Ed Orgeron remain hopeful that the two-time all-American can return before the season is over, the school said in a news release.

Stingley has missed the last two games after aggravating the injury that plagued him for most of August practice.

“You just look at it, got to play it by ear,” Orgeron said Wednesday. “One of those injuries that was nagging. We don’t know when he will be back or if he will be back.

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“Obviously if he does come back we’ll be happy. If not we’ll carry on.”

The Tigers (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) travel to Kentucky to play the No. 16 Wildcats (5-0, 3-0) Saturday night.

Stingley is considered the top defensive back available for next spring’s NFL draft and an almost certain top-10 pick, which Orgeron admitted could play a factor in his return.

But Stingley, while thanking fans for their support, said in the school’s statement that he hoped to play again this fall.

“I’m doing all that I can to return to the field as soon as possible,” his statement read. “I want to finish out the season with my teammates, and I will do everything I can to get healthy so that I will be able to play again this year.”

Orgeron added, “I think if he can, I think he will, knowing Derek and talking to him. But obviously that’s a decision that a family has to make.”

Dwight McGlothern has played in Stingley’s absence.

Orgeron also said starting strong safety Major Burns will miss this week’s game — he suffered a foot injury last week against Auburn — but said he expects Todd Harris to return from an injury to fill that spot.

But it makes him hesitant to move Jay Ward, a former cornerback, from his current starting role at free safety.

“Hopefully Todd Harris can come back and make some plays for us,” Orgeron said. “If we have to — we don’t want to — but in an emergency we can move Ward (to cornerback).”