Josh Williford’s concussion may be career-threatening, source says

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLINGLSU offensive guard Josh Williford grimaces as he is attended to by medical and training staff after going down in the first half of the LSU-Florida game on Oct. 6 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. Show caption
Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLINGLSU offensive guard Josh Williford grimaces as he is attended to by medical and training staff after going down in the first half of the LSU-Florida game on Oct. 6 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla.

Starting left guard Josh Williford, who worked his way back from a concussion that cost him most of the 2012 season, suffered another concussion during practice Thursday, a source close to the program confirmed.

Williford’s injury could be career-threatening, the source said, considering the seriousness of his concussion last season against Florida that sidelined him for the last seven games of the season.

A senior from Dothan, Ala., Williford shifted from right guard where he started a total of 19 games to left guard for this season.

If Williford can’t play, expect sophomore Vadal Alexander to take his place.

Alexander started nine games in 2013 at right tackle as a true freshman after Alex Hurst left the team.

Alexander has missed the last three days of practice with an unspecified injury, but LSU coach Les Miles said he expects him to be available Friday when the Tigers hold their first full team, full pad practice.

Redshirt freshman Jerald Hawkins has taken over at right tackle, with sophomore Trai Turner at right guard and junior La’El Collins at left tackle.

Avery Peterson likely out

The LSU injury news Thursday wasn’t confined to Williford.

Miles said freshman wide receiver Avery Peterson could be out of action for almost the entire season.

Miles wouldn’t confirm the injury, but information on social media sites belonging to Peterson and LSU cornerback Kavahra Holmes said he suffered a broken ankle in Monday’s practice.

“I don’t think he’ll be back until the back end of the season,” Miles said.

Peterson, younger brother of former LSU All-American Patrick Peterson, signed with LSU in 2012 but was academically ineligible. He spent a year at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy working on becoming qualified before re-signing with LSU in February.

More in store for Hill?

Miles dismissed criticism from TCU coach Gary Patterson and numerous media outlets about his allowing embattled running back Jeremy Hill to be reinstated.

Patterson said letting players vote to have Hill back on the team Monday didn’t “teach life lessons.”

“Criticism from outside is nothing I have ever taken into account here,” Miles said.

“We have a culture in place here.”

As was the case Monday when Hill returned to the team, Miles avoided saying whether he would serve any in-game suspensions.

But Thursday, the coach indicated Hill will at least miss some time on the field.

“He is serving punishment currently and there will be withholding” from playing time, Miles said.

The un-frozen tundra

Miles said earlier this week he is for softening nonconference schedules if the Southeastern Conference adds a ninth conference game, but likes the prospect of playing Wisconsin at the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field in 2016.

LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva confirmed Wednesday that the Tigers will play Wisconsin Aug. 30, 2014, at Reliant Stadium in Houston and will play the Badgers at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3, 2016.

“I’ve never been to Lambeau Field, but I’m looking forward to it,” Miles said.

“There’s great history there. I just don’t want to go in December or January.”

Being from northern Ohio and having played college football in the Big Ten at Michigan, Miles has apparently had enough of cold weather football.

Scott Rabalais