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BATON ROUGE, La. -- Les Miles didn't say whether Jalen Mills will miss any game time, but it's clear the junior safety has not played for the last time in an LSU uniform.
LSU's coach lifted Mills' suspension in time for Monday's first practices of the preseason and said he will handle further discipline internally.
|Jalen Mills had been indefinitely suspended since June, when he was arrested for allegedly punching a woman on May 4 and knocking her unconscious.|
"Those things take time and ... after an entire summer of suspension, we felt like, while this thing was still being decided, that we bring him onto the team and then continue that discipline," Miles said Monday evening.
Mills had been indefinitely suspended since June, when he was arrested for allegedly punching a woman and knocking her unconscious on May 4. Initially police said he could face a second-degree battery charge -- a felony -- but East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney Hillar Moore charged Mills with misdemeanor simple battery on Monday.
Mills attorney Brent Stockstill told the Baton Rouge Advocate on Monday afternoon that his client is innocent of the charges and will plead not guilty.
No court date has been set for arraignment in Mills' case. Misdemeanor simple battery is punishable with up to six months in prison or up to a $1,000 fine. Because Mills is facing the lesser charge, Miles reinstated him to the team.
"Misdemeanor being what it is, we're moving forward," Miles said.
Former Tigers running back Jeremy Hill pleaded guilty to a simple battery charge the past summer after an arrest stemming from a bar fight. He was suspended for the opener against TCU and did not play in the first quarter of LSU's second game against UAB.
Mills was in line to become a starting safety in the spring but worked with the second-team defense Monday. He missed all of LSU's summer workouts and activities since his June arrest, so Ronald Martin and Corey Thompson worked as the first-team safeties in Monday's morning practice.
"He was not allowed to take part in meetings, outings, presentations that we gave to the team, so he's missed the entire summer," Miles said. "He has not taken part in any weight, strength or secondary 7-on-7, player-driven work."
Miles said the safety will face extra conditioning runs as part of his punishment. But when asked if he had decided whether Mills would face game suspension, Miles did not provide a clear answer -- much like in the past preseason, when Hill's status was up in the air.
"It's all going to be internal anyway," Miles said.