ATLANTA — LSU coach Ed Orgeron said starting tailback and leading rusher Clyde Edwards-Helaire is recovering from a hamstring injury and is questionable to play for the No. 1 Tigers against No. 4 Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Saturday.
Edwards-Helaire injured his hamstring during a non-contact play in practice last week. Orgeron said Edwards-Helaire would test his hamstring in practice in Atlanta on Tuesday.
“You know, Clyde’s a little bit better,” Orgeron said during a news conference in Atlanta on Monday. He’s off the crutches and off the scooter. We’re going to see if he can do something tomorrow. It’s going to be a day-by-day deal. But I promise you this: a little better than what I thought last week. He has a chance to play. I don’t know if he’s going to play.”
Edwards-Helaire was an All-SEC first-team selection this season, rushing for 1,290 yards and 16 touchdowns. The 5-foot-8 junior from Baton Rouge also caught 50 passes for 399 yards and a touchdown.
Orgeron said LSU’s three backup tailbacks — redshirt freshman Chris Curry (99 rushing yards) and freshmen Tyrion Davis-Price (270 yards with six touchdowns) and John Emery Jr. (182 yards with three scores) — received work in practice last week in case Edwards-Helaire isn’t able to play in the Peach Bowl (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).
Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow is the Tigers’ second-leading rusher with 289 yards with three scores.
Oklahoma’s defense ranked 33rd among FBS teams in run defense, allowing 132.08 yards per game. Sources told ESPN last week that the Sooners won’t have starting safety Delarrin Turner-Yell, who has a broken collarbone. Turner-Yell is OU’s second-leading tackler with 75 tackles this season.
Also Monday, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley confirmed that defensive end Ronnie Perkins, running back Rhamondre Stevenson and receiver Trejan Bridges won’t play against LSU. ESPN and other media outlets previously reported the trio was suspended for undisclosed violations.
Perkins, a sophomore from St. Louis, had 38 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, six sacks and six quarterback hurries in 13 starts. Stevenson, a junior from Las Vegas, emerged as OU’s No. 2 running back after Trey Sermon suffered a season-ending injury. Bridges, a freshman from Carrollton, Texas, had seven catches for 82 yards with one touchdown, with just one reception in the past eight games.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.