Brian Kelly has been in a fantastic mood for the last few days, which means that LSU football has likely had a good week at practice. The Tigers played poorly at Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday, but they left the Plains with an all-important victory to take them to 4-1 overall. Now, the Bayou Bengals are preparing for their toughest test yet.
No. 8 Tennessee strolls into Death Valley looking for its first win in Baton Rouge since 2005. Josh Heupel’s men are riding the high of a win over Florida. They have one of the best offenses in the country and a Heisman Trophy candidate in Hendon Hooker. Thus, LSU will need all hands on deck if it wants to upset the Volunteers during an 11 a.m. (CT) kickoff from Tiger Stadium. Here is all of the injury news you need to know ahead of this Top 25 matchup.
LSU football: Injury report ahead of Week 6 game vs. Tennessee
The first—and perhaps most important—injury development concerns starting quarterback Jayden Daniels. Daniels was kept out of the last few drives against Auburn due to a knee injury, but Kelly has gone on to state numerous times that it was precautionary for the most part. The Tigers’ starter will be back in action versus the Volunteers on Saturday. He is expected to be playing as close to fully healthy as a college quarterback can be after five weeks of intense football.
This is great news for the Bayou Bengals, as is the return of Daniels’ left guard, Garrett Dellinger. Dellinger was held out of the trip to the Plains due to surgery on his left hand. A 3-D fitted cast will now protect that hand and help him cope with the physicality of the trenches against Tennessee. Dellinger’s return means that LSU can revert to the line it used against both Mississippi State and New Mexico, which is a huge boost to the offense.
Two unfortunate bits of injury news relate to Armoni Goodwin and Chris Hilton Jr. Goodwin tore his hamstring against New Mexico and he is set to miss three-to-five more weeks. Meanwhile, Hilton is out for the remainder of the season. The redshirt freshman underwent shoulder surgery early in the week to ensure he would be ready to go again in the spring.
The Tigers are deep in both skill positions, but Goodwin and Hilton will be missed regardless.
As for the defensive side of the ball, LSU remains relatively strong. Cornerback Sevyn Banks is the only new injury to add to the Tigers’ list on that side of the ball. Matt House will likely be without his defensive back for the rest of the year—if not, a good portion of it—following the scary scenes on the opening kickoff at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Banks suffered a serious spinal injury that’ll keep him out for about as long as Major Burns.
All things considered, it’s a lot of positive news for Kelly as he gets a few key players back healthy. He will have to rely on others, such as Josh Williams and Jarrick Bernard-Converse, to step up in the absences of players like Goodwin and Banks. This is especially true for Saturday’s game against a tough opponent in the Volunteers.