LSU's Banged-Up Stars Trai Turner, Anthony Johnson Will Start vs. Georgia

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2013

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Grant Enders #14 of the Towson Tigers is sacked by Anthony Johnson #90 of the LSU Tigers during a game at Tiger Stadium on September 29, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  LSU would win the game 38-22.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

LSU coach Les Miles gave an encouraging update on offensive guard Trai Turner and defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, saying both of his banged-up starters will be good to go against Georgia on Saturday.

According to the Associated Press (via

Both players left last Saturday night's game against Auburn, Turner with an apparent right ankle injury and Johnson with a left leg injury.

Miles says trainers determined Turner, whose ankle was stepped on, has only a contusion, which he referred to as "great news."

The coach describes Johnson's injury as "basically a bruise," adding that he is "going to be fine" and that both players will "play from first snap on."

Miles describes the overall health of his team as "very good" heading into LSU's first significant road test this season.

Turner, a sophomore, has started every game this season and seven as a freshman in 2012. He's a mauling run-blocker who will be tasked with helping backs like Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue find the second level in Athens.

LSU has averaged 5.42 yards per rush this season, in large part due to the up-front work of its offensive line. Georgia's rebuilt (though slowly improving) defense, meanwhile, allowed 197 rushing yards against Clemson and 226 against South Carolina.

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 07:  Anthony Johnson #90 of the LSU Tigers pressures Austin Brown #11 of the UAB Blazers during a game at Tiger Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Tigers think they can control the clock and move the chains in Athens; Turner is part of the reason why.

Johnson is the bigger name of the two and might be the best player on LSU's vaunted defense. The No. 5 player on 247Sports' Class of 2011 composite, he worked in a rotation last year before finally getting his shot as a full-time starter.

And boy, has he looked good.

Through just three games, Johnson already has 2.5 tackles for loss—tied with fellow defensive lineman Ego Ferguson for most on the team. Both he and Ferguson are projected as high future NFL draft picks, and both will be instrumental to stopping the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Georgia has an experienced offensive line itself, and bruising tailback Todd Gurley will try to test LSU between the tackles. Johnson will be one of the most important players with regard to making sure he fails.

His health is of paramount importance.