LSU quarterback Myles Brennan is questionable for South Carolina with lower body injury

Glenn Guilbeau
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

BATON ROUGE — LSU starting quarterback Myles Brennan is questionable for the Tigers' home game against South Carolina Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN) with the same injury he suffered at Missouri on Oct. 10, Coach Ed Orgeron said Monday.

Video: Watch Coach Ed Orgeron Press Conference on Monday 

"Myles has a significant injury to his lower body — something that we do believe is going to heal," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said on a teleconference on Monday. "It's taken a little more time to heal. We thought he'd be back today, but he's not. And I don't know if he's going to play this game. He's going to be questionable for the game."

Brennan suffered the injury late in the first quarter of LSU's 45-41 loss at Missouri on Oct. 10, but he never left the game and completed 29 of 48 passes for 430 yards and four touchdowns.

But he missed all practices last week, including on Monday and Tuesday before the Tigers learned on Wednesday that their game at Florida on Saturday was postponed until Dec. 12 because of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Gators' program.

"He was not going to play last week," Orgeron said. "We expected him back early during this week."

Betting Odds: South Carolina at LSU

If Brennan cannot play Saturday, one of two true freshman will start — Max Johnson or TJ Finley — for the Tigers (1-2) against the Gamecocks (2-2), who are coming off a 30-22 upset of No. 15 Auburn on Saturday. Neither has played a down of college football.

"To be honest, they both had fantastic weeks," Orgeron said of practice last week. "Both of them are very impressive. I believe both of these guys have NFL talent. Now, they haven't been in live action. They're both freshmen. But we're going to practice both of those quarterbacks this week."

LSU quarterback Myles Brennan throws a pass against Missouri during the first half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Missouri.

Orgeron plans to decide on Johnson or Finley as the starter by Thursday night after practice and tell them on Friday morning — if Brennan cannot go. Orgeron also said both backup quarterbacks will play if Brennan cannot.

"We're going to tell them, 'Whoever has the best week is going to start,'" Orgeron said. "And I plan on giving both of them a chance during the game if either starts. I want to see what they can do, and the only way to do it is under live action." 

Does Brennan have 2 injuries?

Brennan's injury was widely reported last week as being to his left, non-throwing shoulder, not as a lower body injury. The USA TODAY Network story reported a shoulder injury as did the Baton Rouge Advocate, which said, "Brennan hurt his non-throwing shoulder on a 7-yard run in the first quarter against Missouri."

Orgeron, though, never said where the injury was on Brennan's body last week. But Orgeron did say yes to two questions on the Southeastern Conference teleconference last week that asked if the play Brennan was injured on was the one in which he lowered his left shoulder at the Missouri 2-yard line in the first quarter and took a hard hit after a 7-yard gain.

"Exactly," Orgeron said. "Yeah, that's the hit. That's the hit. He's pretty bruised up."

Now, Orgeron is saying that injury was in Brennan's lower body, which could be the hip, abdomen or back.

Replays of Brennan being stopped at the 2-yard line show him lowering his left shoulder, but then turning to the right and exposing his left side. Still, safety Tyree Gillespie's hard blow lands in the shoulder area. Then defensive end Isaiah McGuire finishes Brennan off from the side. Brennan got right back up and threw a touchdown two plays later to wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. for a 14-7 lead with 3:45 left until halftime.

Brennan took a few hard hits throughout the game and was sacked twice.

Asked for clarification, LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette said Monday that Brennan has just the one injury — to his lower body. 

Bonnette was also asked to clarify Orgeron's quote on Brennan's injury from his teleconference on Oct. 12 in which Orgeron said, "He was very sore at halftime. It was hard for him to rotate and throw the ball, but he went out in the second half and he didn't blink."

Bonnette explained that Orgeron meant that Brennan had trouble rotating his body when throwing — not his shoulder.