LSU's Arden Key progressing, but unlikely for season opener

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Thursday that he does not expect star linebacker Arden Key to be ready for the team's season opener against BYU on Sept. 2.

Key, who finished second in the SEC in sacks last season with a school-record 12, missed spring practice for personal reasons and had been recovering from shoulder surgery. His availability for the opener always was iffy.

Orgeron said Key is ahead of schedule in rehab for the injury. He was in pads for drills Thursday but has yet to take on contact.

"Today he's taking on blocks, doing some things," Orgeron told reporters. "I just don't know when he's going to be ready, what the doctors are going to say."

Key will visit a doctor to have the shoulder rechecked next week, at which point the Tigers will determine the next step for him.

And while Orgeron doesn't expect Key for the opener, he stopped short of ruling it out completely.

"I'm not sure, but I'm not expecting it," Orgeron said. "But nothing that dude does surprises me."

LSU's second game is at home Sept. 9 against Chattanooga of the second-tier NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. The Tigers play their Southeastern Conference opener Sept. 16 at Mississippi State.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.