The LSU Tigers are once again expected to contend for a college football playoff spot, but they have a brutal schedule ahead of them. Jalen Mills is one of their best defensive players and was expected to have a big season, but a wrench has been thrown into those plans. According to a report, Mills will miss at least 4-6 weeks due to a broken fibula.
It is a huge loss for the Tigers to say the least, and will set back their defense a bit depending on how long he is out. He is definitely going to miss the first game or two of the season, and there is a good chance that he misses more than that. Missing practice will also hurt him when he gets back on-the-field from a stamina standpoint.
During the 2014 season with LSU, Mills ended up recording 62 tackles, an interception and five defensed passes. He is one of the best tacklers on the team, and is the captain of the secondary.
Mills also brings the most experience to the table for the LSU defense, as he has played in and started 39 games. Losing that type of a veteran leader is never easy for a defense to bounce back from, and it means that another player will have to step up in a big way and rally the troops. Replacing him for this period of time won’t be easy, but at least it happened early on in the year rather than coming down the stretch in big SEC games when they need him the most.
Not only is he a sure tackler, he is a safety that has previous cornerback experience. Mills came into the LSU football program as a cornerback and started at the position immediately to open his career up. He has excellent cover skills for a safety, which gives them an advantage against opposing offense as well.
All of that being said, LSU is hoping that he can attack his rehab process and get back on-the-field closer to the four week timeline. If he misses the next six weeks, it will be tough for him to get back to full speed by the time that their tough schedule rolls around.
Expect to hear more information about him over the next couple of weeks as he gets into rehab and tries to hurry his return to the field.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports