By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
Through the first two weeks of the season, Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake was second on the team with eight catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Peake will now be stuck on eight catches for the rest of the year.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed after practice Wednesday that Peake had torn his ACL in Tuesday’s practice during skeleton drills.
“It was kind of a freaky deal, but that’s usually how those kinds of injuries happen unfortunately,” Swinney said. “It was just a real shame for him because he was having a great year already and was going to continue to have a great year.”
Swinney says they will apply to get a medical redshirt for Peake. The Moore, S.C. native was a true junior so he can apply for a medical redshirt.
“Hopefully we can get this year back and he can be a junior again next year,” Swinney said. “He has a great future in front of him and obviously there are plenty of people on this team that have been through this same thing and they are doing just fine, but it is always tough for a young person when they have to come to grips with something like that and they cannot play because that’s what they love to do.
“Our prayers are with Charone and we will get him well and get him back as soon as we possibly can.”
With Peake now out, Swinney says Adam Humphries will slide over and replace him as the starter on the field side. Humphries, who started last year for Sammy Watkins when he was suspended and injured, gets the nod over Germone Hopper because of his experience as a starter.
Humphries has been Watkins backup the last two years, but he also plays in the slot position as well. With Peake out, Hopper, who caught touchdown passes of 26 and 17 yards against SC State last week, will be asked to carry a big load and make more plays.
“We are fortunate to have a guy like Adam that can slide right into that spot and get the job done, and then GHop is getting some good experience,” Swinney said. “Mike Williams, T.J. Green and those guys, the depth is going to key for us.”
Last week, No. 3 Clemson had 14 different players catch a pass.
“We will get them all in the right spot and get back to work,” Swinney said.
“It’s good for a guy like GHop to go out and have the game that he had and Mike and T.J. get some experience, certainly. We made that decision early we were going to play those two freshmen just because it is a long season.
“We don’t have great depth at wideout. Everyone seems to think we have all these wideouts out here, and we have some pretty good players, but we don’t have a lot of depth. We have six guys on scholarship now, and our number is 10 at the position so we are under. That’s why receivers are a big need for us in this class from a recruiting standpoint. But we have what we have and we will make it work.”
Other injury news. Swinney says running back Roderick McDowell (concussion) has practiced and should be fine and ready to go by next Thursday night’s game at NC State. McDowell has been wearing a green jersey the last two days because they have not wanted him to get hit. He has practiced at full speed.
Swinney says McDowell could be cleared by team doctors for hitting by Sunday.
Freshman defensive Mackensie Alexander is still rehabbing with the trainers. Swinney says they have kind of put him on ice and have taken away that extra pressure of trying to rush him back. He will not travel to NC State next Thursday.
“When he is back is when he will be ready,” Swinney said.
Linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion) is still out. He is still suffering a little bit of a headache so he will be revaluated by the weekend and then the training staff will go from there.
Right guard Tyler Shatley (foot) is fine and will play against NC State. Swinney said they are nursing him a little bit. He was held out of practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
“We are babying him a little bit. He has not had much sugar around here so we are giving him a little sugar and babying him a little bit and taken good care of him,” Swinney joked. “He is fine. He is tough as nails. He could have played Saturday.”