ATLANTA, GA – Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a no-show at both the Peach Bowl media day and the team's practice on Thursday, more signs that No. 1 LSU's leading rusher could miss the playoff semifinal because of his hamstring injury.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron still holds out hope Edwards-Helaire could play against No. 4 Oklahoma. However, Edwards-Helaire's absence from the media day event, normally attended by all players expected to be available for the game, may suggest the junior is a long shot at best to play.
Edwards-Helaire had been scheduled to assume a prominent seat in the interview session, according to a diagram given reporters. Instead, center Lloyd Cushenberry III filled that spot beside wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase and quarterback Joe Burrow.
Orgeron said Edwards-Helaire missed Thursday's event because he was receiving treatment. The coach said Edwards-Helaire “may try something” in Thursday's practice, but the running back was not seen in the portion of the session that was open to reporters. Orgeron made a similarly optimistic statement about Tuesday's session, but Edwards-Helaire was unable to join that practice.
Orgeron said Edwards-Helaire “ran a little bit" on Wednesday without making cuts. A final decision on his availability may not be known before Saturday.
“It's going to be a game-time situation," Orgeron said. “Knowing Clyde, if he can play he's going to try. ... Do I expect him to try to play? Yes. How much he can play, I don't know."
Edwards-Helaire leads the undefeated Tigers (13-0) with 1,290 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. He was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference pick.
Freshmen Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery Jr. are the leading candidates to fill in at running back. The third member of the committee would be Chris Curry, another freshman.