Ed Orgeron reveals young cornerback had knee surgery ahead of Mississippi State
There may have been more to the story of LSU’s pass defense struggles from Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State than the absence of Derek Stingley Jr.
Coach Ed Orgeron said on “Off the Bench” on ESPN Baton Rouge that Jay Ward, the cornerback who played in place of Stingley, had meniscus surgery and missed two weeks of practice in the preseason.
“Jay Ward had a meniscus tear and had a slight operation on his knee and was just coming back,” Orgeron said in the interview, per Brooks Kubena. “And hadn’t practiced at all. There were some things there that we were hampered by.”
The update offered a glimpse into the LSU defense and how Ward was in a more difficult position when he helped fill in for the All-American cornerback.
“We didn’t even know (Ward) could play,” Orgeron told reporters Monday. “He played a lot of snaps. I thought he did a fairly good job, but obviously was a little rusty there.”
Ward appeared in 13 games as a freshman in 2019, and entered this season expected to play opposite Stingley Jr. when the Tigers go to their nickel defense.
“There were things we were hampered by, but no excuse, should have played better,” Orgeron said.