LSU head coach Les Miles informed the media that his star left tackle Chris Faulk was injured during Wednesday's practice in preparation for Saturday's game against the Washington Huskies.
According to a report this evening from LSU beat writer Randy Rosetta of The Times-Picayune, the 6-5, 323 pound junior rated by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 24 overall prospect in the country, suffered a significant knee injury which could cause him to miss the rest of the 2012 season.
Rosetta cites three anonymous sources in his report but LSU hasn't confirmed the severity of Faulk's injury. Miles seemed to indicate that the injury could potentially be serious yesterday, however, by beginning the press conference with the announcement that "We've had a little bit of bad news."
If Faulk is indeed out for an extended amount of time, the loss would be a significant one for the No. 3 rated Tigers (AP, Coaches Poll). LSU is as talented as any team in the country but this is a team that struggled to protect new quarterback Zach Mettenberger last week in their opener against North Texas. Mettenberger was only sacked twice but he was hit on multiple occasions and was actually knocked out of the game for a brief time in the second quarter after taking a monster hit on a cornerback blitz by Hilbert Jackson.
During his Wednesday press conference, Miles indicated that three players -- current starting left guard La'el Collins, current starting right tackle Alex Hurst and backup guard Josh Dworaczyk could all see time at left tackle in an attempt to fill Faulk's massive shoes. Dworaczak, a sixth year player who himself is coming off a knee injury that caused him to miss all of last season, is LSU's most talented offensive lineman, having started 26 games and appearing in 38 contests over his career. All of his playing time, however, has come at guard.
Starting all 14 games a season ago for the Tigers, Faulk proved to be a star. While significantly larger than typical for the "blindside" position, Faulk demonstrated excellent lateral agility and long, strong arms to rank as one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC and a potential first round pick. He was the third of LSU's elite five prospects highlighted in our preseason preview of the Tigers' 2012 season.