Ed Orgeron expects Arden Key to miss LSU’s season opener vs. BYU

LSU defensive end Arden Key is one of the returning defensive players most likely to be a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2017.

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday he is not expecting star pass rusher Arden Key to play in the September 2 season opener against BYU.

“I’m not sure, but I’m not expecting it,” Orgeron said. “But nothing that dude does surprises me. He’s going to go to his doctor next week and we should know pretty soon when he’s going to play.”

LSU team physician Dr. Brent Bankston was a guest on “Off the Bench” with Jordy Culotta and T-Bob Hebert Friday on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge and updated Key’s progress after his May shoulder surgery.

His shoulder looks real good right now,” Bankston said. “It’s just kind of early after his surgery. His strength is good and I think we’re probably going to be a little bit cautious with him coming in, as Coach Orgeron alluded to in the presser this week. But he looks good and I think he’s going to have a great season.”

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Two weeks ago, Orgeron said Key has looked “fantastic” in his rehab from the shoulder surgery.

Key set the school single-season sack record with 12 in 2016 and become the school’s career leader in that category with 8.5 sacks this season. He has been practicing with the team since preseason camp began, but has not been cleared for contact.

Bankston also discussed quarterback Danny Etling’s recovery from offseason back surgery; his back limited him during the 2016 season and spring football.

“The kid is extremely tough,” Bankston said. “We knew about this back problem coming into last year. We didn’t have time to get it fixed. He played hurt and he never complained, never told us that he was limited. We wanted to fix him at the end of the season last year, but with a new offensive coordinator coming in, he says, ‘I’ve got to be there for spring and I don’t have time to do this.’ He was really limited in the spring.

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“It’s amazing the difference in his mobility, his accuracy and the comfort out there on the field since he’s had this problem fixed.”

(You can follow Matt Moscona on Twitter @MattMoscona)

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