Less than 24 hours before their season opener, the LSU Tigers learned that Derek Stingley Jr. would not be able to suit up against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The star cornerback was taken to the hospital after becoming “acutely ill.”
Stingley's absence had a huge impact on the game, as Mississippi State quarterback K.J. Costello threw for 623 yards and five touchdowns. Fortunately for LSU, its defense should have Stingley back in the lineup very soon.
On Wednesday, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said he believes Stingley will play this weekend against Vanderbilt. The talented sophomore practiced on Tuesday, but he was wearing a non-contact jersey.
The Tigers are still unaware of what caused Stingley's illness. Nonetheless, they're relieved that it wasn't coronavirus-related.
Coach O spoke to the media today about what Stingley's return will do for his defense. Let's just say that he thinks very highly of his star cornerback.
"A huge lift for us," Orgeron said when talking about Stingley's return. "Derek's one of our best players. He's a force and he's a difference."
Stingley had a phenomenal freshman year at LSU, compiling 38 tackles and six interceptions. It's not everyday that you see a true freshman earn consensus All-America honors, but that's exactly what he did in 2019.
If the Tigers are able to play Stingley this weekend against the Commodores, it should provide them a much-needed lift on the defensive side of the ball.