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LSU rules out LB Kendell Beckwith; Leonard Fournette day-to-day

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU has ruled out senior linebacker Kendell Beckwith and could also be without running back Leonard Fournette when it faces Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night.

Interim coach Ed Orgeron said the knee injury that sidelined Beckwith, a Butkus Award finalist, against Florida on Saturday will keep him from facing the Aggies on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Orgeron added that Fournette is "day-to-day" with the ankle injury that has slowed him throughout the season and limited him to 12 carries for 40 yards against the Gators.

"He should be fine, but Leonard's day-to-day with that ankle, obviously," Orgeron said at his Monday news conference. "That's how it works with stuff like that, but we'll see. It's going to be a game-time situation again, see if he can practice and do the things that he can tolerate."

Beckwith is an essential member of LSU's defense. The Tigers' defense was noticeably weaker up the middle when Donnie Alexander replaced Beckwith against Florida.

"Kendell, he's so versatile. He's really like a D-tackle at linebacker, he's so big," safety John Battle said of Beckwith, who is 6-foot-3, 247 pounds. "So just having him in space [helps]."

Alexander matched a career high with eight tackles against the Gators, but he has nowhere near the size or experience of the senior teammate he will replace. Beckwith leads the team with 91 tackles and also has six tackles for loss.

"We all know that Kendell's a big factor on our defense," Alexander said Saturday after the game. "When he went out, he just told me to go out there and do what I know to do best and follow from his lead, from all the things he taught me."

Orgeron, however, said the 6-foot-1, 212-pound Alexander is well-suited to defend Texas A&M's spread offense on Thursday.

"There is a difference, obviously, between him and Kendell," Orgeron said. "I think Donnie is going to be a really good football player, but the thing about A&M that's going to help us is they are a spread offense. You'd better run fast and make some plays in space, and I think that's what Donnie does well."