Ed Orgeron says Myles Brennan will again be LSU’s starting quarterback as soon as he’s ready to play.

LSU’s coach added that Brennan won’t play until he’s 100% healthy.

Fortunately for Orgeron, backup TJ Finley’s play in Brennan’s absence and the schedule-maker have helped put the coach in position to be fair to both quarterbacks and also be patient.

Here’s the deal:

Brennan played too well in the first 3 games to lose his job to injury. He’s the first player in LSU history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first 3 career starts.

So even though Finley played very well in his college debut against South Carolina last Saturday – 17-of-21, 265 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception – it would be unfair for Brennan to lose his starting job because of injury.

It would also be unwise to rush Brennan back on the field because Finley showed his capability in the 52-24 victory over the Gamecocks.

Orgeron has said Brennan has a “significant” injury and he has not recovered as quickly as the Tigers had hoped. His “lower leg” injury occurred against Missouri on Oct. 10.

Brennan was scheduled to participate in about 25% of practice on Monday to gauge how severe the soreness was and what he was capable and incapable of doing.

The plan is to “get him accelerated throughout the week.”

“It all depends how practice goes this week,” Orgeron said.

Orgeron has the luxury of being cautious with Brennan’s return because of Finley’s performance. The coach praised the freshman’s “poise,” said he “looked like a veteran” and that was “what made the difference in the game.”

It would be instructive for Orgeron, offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and passing game coordinator Scott Linehan to see what Finley can do against Auburn on Saturday afternoon.

They’ll want to see how Finley performs against an opponent that has film of the quarterback beyond his high-school career, which South Carolina didn’t have. They’ll want to see how the freshman handles himself in a road game. They’ll want to see how he handles the success of last week and whether he can build on it or slips back.

All of that will be useful in learning exactly what they have in Finley, not just for the rest of this season but also as a potential successor to Brennan, who’s a 4th-year junior.

So the confidence that Finley earned with his play against South Carolina has given Orgeron security in taking his time with Brennan.

“We don’t have to rush Myles,” Orgeron said.

Orgeron and the Tigers’ offensive brain-trust do have a practical consideration on their hands.

If Brennan isn’t going to play against Auburn, it would be helpful for Max Johnson to get some practice reps in preparation for backing up Finley. Johnson took 1 snap on the opening drive last week when Finley had to leave the game because his helmet came off, then handled mop-up duty.

Now here’s where the schedule-maker comes in.

LSU has an open date next week. If Brennan doesn’t play against Auburn, that gives him an extra week to heal before the Tigers’ next game – a total of 35 days from the time of the injury to his return.

Orgeron said the presence of the bye next week won’t factor into his decision this week, but the added healing time would be a bonus.

“It’s just a matter of if he’s ready to play,” Orgeron said. “At this point in the season, we have to do what’s best to win the football game. I can’t think about nothing after but beating Auburn. Whatever we can do, whatever personnel we have to beat Auburn, that’s what we’re going to worry about.”

The game after the open date is a home game against No. 2 Alabama.