LSU coach Les Miles said that the three players held out of last Saturday’s game vs. Auburn – cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Tharold Simon and running back Spencer Ware – returned to practice Tuesday for the first time and should play when No. 1-ranked LSU plays Nov. 5 at No. 2 Alabama.
Miles declined to say the three players were suspended because of positive drug tests as sources and numerous media reports have said.
“I don’t recall that I ever suspended them to you guys, am I right?” Miles asked. “So I guess what I’m saying to you is we’ve operated as if this discipline would be internal, we would handle it in that way and these guys have returned to practice.
“If they continue doing the things they’re doing we anticipate they will play.”
Miles declined to speculate where on the depth chart the players would fall upon their return. Mathieu and Ware have been every game starters.
Mathieu was one of the stars of the first half of the college football season and emerged as a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate. The sophomore from New Orleans has forced four fumble recoveries and recovered three – returning two for touchdowns – with two interceptions, 42 tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Ware, a sophomore from Cincinnati, is LSU’s leading rusher with 512 yards and six touchdowns on 128 carries. Simon, a sophomore from Eunice, has 29 tackles, one interception and a team-high eight pass deflections.
Miles also said center P.J. Lonergan, held out of the Auburn game because of an injury, is practicing and should be able to play against Alabama. Defensive end Ken Adams also missed the Auburn game and worked out on the side Tuesday, but Miles said he anticipates that Adams will improve quickly and will soon be full speed.
Kickoff has been moved to 7 p.m. for a prime-time telecast on CBS.