Ward is in line to play against Auburn at the weekend. However, Burns is set to miss three to six weeks as he continues to recover from a neck injury. This begs the question, what will the Tigers do at safety while Burns remains sidelined?
Even though left guard Garrett Dellinger’s hand injury isn’t ideal, LSU has a couple of different guys who can slot into the hole left by the lineman’s absence. However, the safeties aren’t afforded that luxury as they’re one of the thinnest positions on the depth chart. Healthy bodies are only becoming harder to come by as the season progresses after Major Burns and Jay Ward injuries.
Cornerback Jarrick Bernard-Converse stepped up for his team last week against the Lobos. LSU was without Burns and Ward, so the Oklahoma State transfer slid over from cornerback to handle business in the non-conference game. Bernard-Converse played exceptionally well and even went on to win a game ball from Kelly after the 38-0 win.
That said, he’s needed more at cornerback going forward. The Bayou Bengals will need someone with prior experience at safety against some of the nation’s best passing attacks in Southeastern Conference games. Luckily, they have just the guy waiting in the wings.
Joe Foucha is expected to debut in the purple and gold on the Plains this weekend. The former Arkansas safety served a four-game suspension for his transfer credits at the beginning of the year. However, he’s now eligible and it seems he’ll slide right into House’s starting defense alongside Ward.
Foucha may take some time to get back up to game speed, but he’s been on the scout team for the last few weeks. The New Orleans native gives LSU the best chance to win going forward. As a former Razorbacks DB, he’s got the necessary experience and talent to play in the SEC. He’ll have a favorable first opponent in Auburn. The Tigers have struggled on offense this year, music to the ears of defense as lethal as the Bayou Bengals’.
Burns’ positive contributions will be missed over the next couple of weeks. Nevertheless, Foucha’s return will ensure Kelly and Co. have nothing to panic about.