LSU defensive back Derek Stingley Jr. has been ruled out indefinitely after undergoing a procedure on his injured foot, the school announced on Wednesday. Stingley was ruled out of the lineup prior to the game against Mississippi State on Sept. 25 with the , which was expected to keep him out for a few weeks. The injury failed to improve, however, so Stingley ultimately opted for the procedure.
"I appreciate all of the support from LSU and the fans," Stingley said in a statement. "I'm doing all that I can to return to the field as soon as possible. I want to finish out the season with my teammates and I will do everything I can to get healthy so I will be able to play again this year."
The junior cornerback has accumulated 74 tackles, six tackles for loss, 26 passes defended and six interceptions throughout a storied career at LSU. He started as a freshman on the 2019 national championship team and earned All-America honors.
In Stingley's absence, LSU has gone 1-1 with a tight win over Mississippi State followed by the first home loss to No. 22 Auburn since 1999. Teams have taken advantage of his absence as quarterbacks Bo Nix and Will Rogers combined to complete 66% of passes for 626 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception.
Stingley's procedure comes at a brutal time for the program. LSU faces off against No. 16 Kentucky, No. 20 Florida, No. 17 Ole Miss, No. 1 Alabama and No. 13 Arkansas over the next five games. ESPN's FPI considers the Tigers an underdog in all five contests, which could put the program at risk of finishing below .500 for the first time since Nick Saban took over the program in 2000.
Sophomore Dwight McGlothern has taken the lion's majority of Stingley's plays, lining up for 159 snaps over the past two games and earning a 69.9 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus. He has accumulated 12 tackles and two tackles for loss in three games.
Stingley is seen as one of the top prospects in the 2022 NFL Draft by several outlets. CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson projects Stingley as the No. 4 overall pick in his latest mock draft and the No. 1 cornerback on the board.