FSU football linebacker Amari Gainer suffered a lower leg injury against the Duquense Dukes Saturday that saw him with crutches sitting on the bench in the second half of the game.
FSU head coach Mike Norvell spoke after Tuesday’s practice and said, “We’ll see how it all progresses. That was one that we wanted to see how it all came through yesterday, but he’s probably going to be unavailable.”
Amari Gainer tied for the team lead with four total tackles against Duquesne. If Gainer misses the LSU game, what does that mean for FSU? Gainer isn’t a starter in the 4-2-5 defense FSU uses most of the time, but usually comes in when they move to a 4-3 set.
While he makes tackles when in the game, often it’s after he has gotten beat or because he didn’t play his role in the defense.
The video below is a prime example:
Gainer cheats inside, loses contain in the run game, and gives up a huge play. There was another play where he lost the tight end coming out of the backfield and allowed a huge play.
Gainer is solid when coming downhill when the likelihood of a team running is high but is a liability in coverage. He offers value on special teams in kickoff and punt coverage.
However, I’m not sure how much we would see Gainer on the field Sunday night if he did play. LSU will likely feature a mobile quarterback and has an outstanding receiving corps.
I don’t expect they’ll have lots of success running the ball, so they’ll look to spread FSU out and put their playmakers in space. It could be more beneficial for Adam Fuller to deploy more defensive backs in the 4-2-5 set.
However, if Gainer doesn’t play, it does test your depth at linebacker, with D.J. Lundy behind Kalen DeLoach and Tatum Bethune as the most experienced player available.
The good news for Gainer is the Noles have a bye week after the LSU game, which will provide more time for his injury to heal without missing a game.