LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. missed most of the second half against Arkansas with an injury sustained on a punt during the third quarter. Coach Ed Orgeron didn't have many details after the game but will assuredly know more by Monday for his weekly press conference.
"Not yet," Orgeron said of the Stingley injury. "I talked to Jack [Marucci] and he couldn't go back in the game. We'll find out."
Stingley recorded two tackles and a tackle for a loss in the 27-24 win over the Razorbacks. The Tigers were down not just Stingley but fellow starting cornerback Elias Ricks for much of the game as well. Ricks was ejected for targeting in the first half on a hit that leveled an Arkansas receiver but cost him the rest of the game as a result.
"Game done turned soft man. I clearly didn’t lead with the crown of my helmet. What else was I supposed to do ? But I’m glad my teammates had my back and came through with the win that is all that matters," Ricks tweeted after the game.
Ricks will be back in the fold next weekend against No. 5 Texas A&M because the hit occurred in the first half. But what will the Tigers do if Stingley can't return for next weekend's contest against the Aggies?
When Ricks went out in the first half, LSU went with redshirt freshman Jay Ward as his replacement so that certainly could be the route to go. Ward had his struggles on the outside so the Tigers moved him to the slot while Cordale Flott handled duties on the outside against Arkansas.
Freshman Dwight McGlothern also saw some snaps on the outside and recorded three tackles so that could be another option the team elects to go with should Stingley have to miss time. Missing the first-team All-American had its moments of uneasiness in the second half but the unit made the plays down the stretch when it needed to most.
Ward's third-and-3 stop and subsequent blocked field goal at the end of the game will go down as one of the defining moments for this LSU team this season. Orgeron was impressed with what Ward was able to do on Saturday, particularly after giving up a few plays early and shaking off the rough start.
"He hung in there, man. Jay's a tough young man. You know, play like you practice. On our field goal block, Jay Ward's always around the corner," Orgeron said. "He's always making plays. Just happy for that young man. Next man up and he did it."
The depth behind Stingley and Ricks has been a question mark all season and on Saturday while those players did have their struggles, they also did what it took to help get the needed stop to pull out a win. The Aggies have proved to be a potent offense this season so the secondary, which was also without Maurice Hampton and Jordan Toles against Arkansas, will hope the depth improves in practice throughout the week and are available against Texas A&M.