LSU star Arden Key set to return vs. Mississippi State

This Sept. 10, 2016, file photo shows Jacksonville State quarterback Eli Jenkins being sacked by LSU defensive end Arden Key (L). (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Arden Key will be back on the field for LSU on Saturday.

Tigers coach Ed Orgeron told reporters Monday that Key will be a full contact participant in practice and LSU will play Key “as much as we can” in the SEC opener against Mississippi State.

Key, an All-SEC pass rusher, has been slowly working his way back from a May shoulder surgery. Key took a leave of absence from the team in February before rejoining the team in June. In the interim, Key had his left shoulder worked on.

Key, a junior, set an LSU single-season record in 2016 with 12 sacks. Overall, Key has 97 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 17 sacks in his two seasons at LSU.

The return of Key is an important one for LSU, which already has one of the nation’s top defenses. Through two games, LSU has eight total sacks led by Corey Thompson’s 3.5, and has given up just 10 points in wins over BYU and Chattanooga.

Saturday’s game at Mississippi State (2-0) is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!