LSU

LSU RB Fournette in walking boot

FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2015, file photo, LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) rushes past Texas Tech defensive back Nigel Bethel, left, and linebacker Micah Awe (18) during the second half of the Texas Bowl in Houston.
FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2015, file photo, LSU running back Leonard Fournette (7) rushes past Texas Tech defensive back Nigel Bethel, left, and linebacker Micah Awe (18) during the second half of the Texas Bowl in Houston. AP

The hits keep on coming.

Leonard Fournette, LSU's Heisman Trophy hopeful running back, sprained his ankle in the Tigers' scrimmage on Tuesday, coach Les Miles revealed in a post-practice news conference.

The coach classified the sprain as "slight" and not high ankle, the most severe kind, but he said the junior from New Orleans is in a walking boot.

"Leonard Fournette got a slight sprain. He’s in a boot. Some of the healing going (on)," he said. "It's not terrible."

Fournette was injured on a carry "up the middle for 8-12 yards" during a 50-play scrimmage. A tackler laid on his leg, the coach said. LSU, ranked No. 6 in the USA/Today coaches preseason poll, opens the season against Wisconsin at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3.

It's unclear when Fournette will return.

"I don't know," the coach said when asked. "I know it's not, in his words ... He'll be fine."

LSU's been beset with injuries during this two-week-long preseason camp. Defensive linemen Christian LaCouture and Isaiah Washington sustained season-ending injuries, on the same day, the fourth day of camp last Sunday. Corey Thompson, a presumed starter, is out for at least six weeks after fracturing his lower leg.

"Sometimes, the odds don't play in your favor," Miles said.

Fournette, a Heisman favorite, broke single-season school records for yards and touchdowns last season. Derrius Guice, an electric sophomore from Baton Rouge, is the Tigers' backup running back. He averaged 8.5 yards a carry on 51 touches in 2015, developing into a competent backup for the LSU's star product.

Fournette, though, is the star, a workhorse who's likely playing his final season of college football. He's draft-eligible after this season, and ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, at one point last season, said Fournette, if eligible then, would have been the No. 1 selection in the 2016 draft.

Fournette, the No. 1 high school prospect in the nation in 2014, landed on the front of multiple preseason college football magazines and, in some spots, is the Heisman favorite.

He has not spoken with reporters since camp began on Aug. 4, missing four scheduled player interview sessions. LSU's final day of camp is Wednesday. The Tigers will practice twice and then be off Thursday. Players are scheduled to speak to reporters Wednesday night.

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