ATLANTA — Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a no-show for No. 1 LSU at Thursday’s Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl media day, and coach Ed Orgeron said he isn’t sure if the running back will be able to play in Saturday’s College Football Playoff semifinal against No. 4 Oklahoma at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
LSU officials told ESPN that Edwards-Helaire was receiving treatment on his injured hamstring on Thursday morning, which is why he didn’t appear at media day at the College Football Hall of Fame. The CFP requires every player from participating teams to appear at media day.
Orgeron said Edwards-Helaire, an All-SEC first-team selection this season, hasn’t practiced this week.
“Clyde has not practiced yet,” Orgeron said. “He ran a little bit [on Wednesday] straight ahead. Medically, I hope he’s cleared today to practice. I don’t know if he will. I think he may try something today, I’m not sure. I think it’s going to be a game-time situation.
“Knowing Clyde, if he can play, he’s going to try. Do I want him to play? Yes. Do I expect him to try to play? Yes. How much he can play, I don’t know.”
Edwards-Helaire has been a big part of LSU’s record-setting offense this season, rushing for 1,290 yards with 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. OU coach Lincoln Riley confirmed earlier this week that starting defensive end Ronnie Perkins is suspended, and starting safety Delarrin Turner-Yell has a broken collarbone. Turner-Yell is OU’s second-leading tackler with 75 this season.