INDIANAPOLIS -- LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. provided the specific answer Saturday as to why his 2021 season ended in September and why he will not work out Saturday night at the NFL scouting combine.
Stingley, who is Todd McShay's No. 7 player overall in the draft and second-ranked cornerback, and Mel Kiper Jr.'s No. 6 player overall, said Saturday morning he suffered a torn ligament in his left foot -- a Lisfranc injury -- leading up to LSU's Week 4 game against Mississippi State this past season and had surgery Sept. 26.
"My rehab is ahead of schedule right now,'' Stingley said. "... I'm on pace to do what I have to do at pro day.''
Stingley said he was given a recovery schedule of "four to six months'' and will not participate in on-field work the defensive backs do Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
LSU's pro day is scheduled for April 6, one of the latest on-campus pro days over the next month.
"I'm almost close to 100 percent, right now getting into running, starting to do a couple plants, breaking downhill, that's realty where I'm at,'' Stingley said.
Asked if any teams had expressed concern about his foot during interviews at the combine, Stingley said "none.''
Personnel executives had initially expressed hope they'd see Stingley work out at the combine in recent weeks, but Saturday is believed to be the first time Stingley has publicly spoken about the extent of the foot injury.
From a football perspective, many of the league's talent evaluators say Stingley's best season at LSU was in 2019 when, as a true freshman, he was a second-team All American, first-team All SEC and SEC Newcomer of the Year with six interceptions and 21 passes defensed. Stingley did not have an interception in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season or in the three games he played last season.
Through it all Stingley said he still believes he is still the best cornerback in this draft.
"Because I know myself and I know that when I'm at the best version of myself I'm the greatest,'' Stingley said.