Battle an “emergency only” option for LSU

(Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports)

LSU safety John Battle will suit up for the Tigers this weekend on the road trip to Arkansas.

The question now becomes whether or not the senior defensive back sees the field.

Following Thursday’s practice in Baton Rouge, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said Battle would only play if the Tigers were in an emergency situation against the Razorbacks. Battle suffered an injury on the first play of LSU’s game against Alabama last weekend, and he missed the rest of the contest. Battle was absent from all four of LSU’s practices this week.

Orgeron said starting defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko wouldn’t play against Arkansas on Saturday, but didn’t shut the door completely on Battle, though it sounds like his normal reps will fall on the shoulders of others across the four quarters of LSU’s matchup with the Razorbacks, who are just 2-7 on the season.

Battle has had 37 tackles on the season, good for fifth-most on LSU’s roster and second-most behind Grant Delpit among the defensive backs. He’s recorded three interceptions on the year, one more than cornerback Greedy Williams but two fewer than Delpit.

With safety Eric Monroe sidelined for the season with an injury, the next man up at safety will likely be Todd Harris, who outpaced JaCoby Stevens, Terrence Alexander and others to see the majority of the safety reps opposite Delpit in the game against the Tide. And Harris picked off Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the first interception he had thrown all season. He also led LSU’s team in tackles with 12. 

Battle, the Tigers’ fifth-leading tackler with 37, suffered an apparent ankle injury on the first play of LSU’s 29-0 loss to Alabama Saturday night at Tiger Stadium. While Battle had started in every game besides Louisiana Tech, it appears Harris, a sophomore out of Plaquemine, is likely to get the nod this weekend in Fayetteville.

Arkansas has the No. 59 rushing offense in the country, averaging 176 yards per game. But they average just 202.4 passing yards per game, which ranks No. 94 in the country. With an average of 378.4 yards per game, the Razorbacks rank No. 87 nationally in total offense.

Stay tuned to Geaux247 for more on Battle’s absence and LSU’s road trip to Fayetteville. 

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