LSU star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., who was hospitalized Friday, practiced Tuesday and is expected to play this week against Vanderbilt, coach Ed Orgeron said Wednesday.

Stingley was sent to the hospital after falling “acutely ill,” the school said. He was discharged Saturday but did not play in LSU’s season-opening loss to Mississippi State.

The potential return of Stingley, who worked in a no-contact gold jersey Tuesday, will help an LSU man-to-man scheme that Mississippi State exploited last week, as quarterback K.J. Costello passed for an SEC-record 623 yards and five touchdowns.

“A huge lift for us,” Orgeron said of Stingley’s potential return. “Derek’s one of our best players. … He’s a force and he’s a difference.”

Orgeron doesn’t know what caused Stingley’s illness, which was not coronavirus-related. Stingley’s father, Derek Stingley Sr., told WNXX radio Tuesday that his son “had a reaction to something” and went to the hospital, where he underwent testing.

“It was scary,” Stingley Sr. told WNXX-FM, “but it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was when we first got the call and all that. But he’s good to go. I’m pretty sure they’re going to probably take it easy with him this week. But I’m pretty sure he may wind up playing as well.

“It’s one of those moments where, me, personally, I would hate to relive or go through it again. But he’s good. He’s healthy. He’s ready to go.”

Stingley Jr. earned consensus All-America honors as a true freshman in 2019, when he started all 15 games and led the SEC with six interceptions, while ranking second nationally with 21 passes defended. He had 38 tackles and also served as LSU’s punt returner as the team won the national championship.



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