College Football Preview: Tennessee v LSU

Week 6 is a big week for the SEC as No. 8 Tennessee and No. 25 LSU square off in Death Valley. Both teams have something to prove, but they are both overcoming some serious injury hurdles. 

LSU has already lost a handful of guys for the season (Chris Hilton Jr., Raydarious Jones, Mason Smith) including Sevyn Banks who suffered a scary spinal cord against Auburn last week, but there are also at least 4 players that are still considered up in the air for Saturday’s matchup. RB Armoni Goodwin has played a big role in LSU’s offense, scoring 5 touchdowns in 3 games before picking up a hamstring injury against New Mexico. He missed last week’s game with Auburn and is currently questionable for Week 6. Coach Brian Kelly referred to the injury as “substantial” but seemed to leave the door open when asked if Goodwin was expected to miss multiple weeks. Also questionable on offense is OL Garrett Dellinger who is dealing with a hand injury. On defense, LSU could be missing both S Matthew Langlois and S Major Burns with leg and neck injuries respectively. 

Then there is QB Jayden Daniels. The quarterback suffered a knee injury against Auburn and was not able to return. Kelly indicated after the game that Daniels was only “hurt” not “injured.” He was essentially saying that Kelly could have returned to the game last week because there was no damage to the knee, but that pain management was simply hindering Daniels’ rushing game. Daniels is not listed on the injury report leading up to the matchup with Tennessee, but that doesn’t mean his knee won’t affect him. While he should be fine to play, his mobility may still be affected and he could be vulnerable if he takes a hit. 

The big injury on Tennessee’s roster is WR Cedric Tillman. He took a low shot against Akron two weeks ago and suffered a high ankle sprain. He underwent a “tightrope” surgery to speed up the recovery, similar to the surgery Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa had on his ankle sprain a few years ago. A high ankle sprain can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks to recover from, but the surgery could speed that up to the 3-4 week mark. Tillman would still be at least a week away from the short-end of that timeline if he returned this weekend. Technically, Tillman is still considered day-to-day for Week 6. While we think it’s pretty unlikely Tillman is back out there against LSU, a return isn’t that far off. 

Questionable for Tennessee this weekend are RB Dylan Sampson and TE Miles Campbell. Sampson suffered an ankle injury against Akron, a game in which he also scored two touchdowns. Not having Sampson out there on Saturday would be a blow to Tennessee’s offense, especially without Tillman. 

DB Warren Burrell is missing on the other side of the field for Tennessee. He suffered an upper body injury that required surgery and will be out for the remainder of the season. Tennessee is a bit thin on defense and Burrell’s absence will be missed against LSU in Week 6.

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