There's no doubt that the loss of Derek Stingley 24 hours before kickoff on Saturday was a huge blow to the LSU secondary. The Tigers attempted to scramble but allowed an SEC record 623 passing yards to Mississippi State in the 44-34 loss.
While meeting with reporters on Monday, coach Ed Orgeron said that he expects Stingley to be back in the lineup for this weekend's game against Vanderbilt. Orgeron believes that Stingley could possibly be back at practice as early as Tuesday.
"I think Derek's going to be back," Orgeron said. "We're waiting for all the medical exams to clear. I expect him back as early as maybe tomorrow."
"I'm hoping he can play. Obviously, he makes a difference on our team. We need that. It's a position of need, we're short there, but we're always going to put his health first. I'm going to listen to the doctors. I'm going to talk to his mom and daddy. If the doctors say he can play, Derek says he can play, mom and daddy say it's okay then he's going to play. If not, he won't."
Stingley was rushed to the hospital with what LSU described as an "acute illness" on Friday evening. It was later reported by Bruce Feldman of the Athletic that Stingley had shown symptoms of an allergic reaction.
“Derek Stingley Jr. became acutely ill last night and was evaluated overnight in the hospital. His condition is not COVID-19 related and he is expected to be discharged soon. He will return to activity after full evaluation by the medical team," LSU said in the statement.
LSU was put in a tough position with the loss of Stingley, starting Nicholls State transfer Darren Evans, who had been with the team for two weeks, as well as Jay Ward, who had missed two weeks of practice prior to Saturday's game. Bullodogs quarterback KJ Costello threw all over the depleted LSU secondary, something that even despite the loss of Stingley was the biggest area Orgeron was surprised by in the loss.
"We were excellent in camp against our offense so I was really surprised they gave that many yards up," Orgeron said.
The program is also set to be without defensive tackle Glen Logan for the Vanderbilt game, but he’ll be back once the team returns to Baton Rouge for Missouri. Orgeron said that defensive coordinator Bo Pelini was the first one to come up to him after the loss, telling him that he should've done a better job.
"He was hurt just like everybody else," Orgeron said. "We went over the film and saw some of the things that we did well and some of the things we must and will improve. He's been fantastic, he's eager and he's an outstanding coach."