Tigers open drills Wednesday with several players beat up
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said they do not keep a scorecard on the number of players injured, but he feels his team is in pretty good shape health wise this spring.
However, the Tigers opened spring practice Wednesday at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility with several players either out or limited in practice, including safety Nolan Turner and freshman defensive tackle Bryan Bresee. Turner will miss the entire spring after having surgery on his right shoulder, while Bresee had to sit out the first day due to a sprained left knee he suffered while playing basketball.
Swinney said they decided it was best for Turner to have surgery on his shoulder now so he will be healthy in May for summer workouts.
“He could have gone through spring and we could have done it after spring, but we decided, because he is incredibly knowledgeable and knows what he is doing, so we felt like from a timing standpoint that if we went ahead and did it, he would be ready for the start of May and really would have a full summer,” Swinney said. “Having him out there, leading skills and drills is important, so we went ahead and made the decision to do that so he can have a full summer and coach this spring and really work. We have a lot of young guys, so it will be good because they will get a lot of reps.”
Bresee, the nation’s No. 1 recruit from the 2020 signing class, sprained his LCL in his left knee. He was wearing a yellow jersey in practice, which means he cannot participate in any drills during practice.
“Bresee had a little sprain, he should be fine here in a day or so,” Swinney said.
Offensive lineman Blake Vinson was also wearing a yellow jersey, as he continues to recover from a knee injury he suffered early last season. Swinney said he is making steady progress.
Cornerback Andrew Booth was in yellow, too. He is still recovering from his knee being scoped following the national championship game.
“He is progressing very well, and we expect him to get some good work this spring as we continue to go through,” Swinney said. “So, he is doing a lot better and kind of fixed his issue he battled through all of fall.”
Linebacker Bryton Constantin was not at practice on Wednesday. Swinney said he had surgery Wednesday on his left knee for a third time after he tore his ACL again while rehabbing the knee.
The redshirt freshman missed all of last season after he originally tore his ACL last February while playing in a high school basketball game. Last September, he tore it a second time during rehab.
Swinney said they are not sure what is causing Constantin to tear his ACL in rehab other than just bad luck.
“It is just a tough thing,” Swinney said. “It is disappointing, but his attitude is great. It really is. He is a special young man and it is a little bit of a setback, but hopefully he will be back toward the end of next year and the good news for him is he can still get that year back if we wanted to because he did redshirt within the last year.
“If he ends up losing another year, he can qualify, just like Blake to get it back.”
Defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney was also wearing a yellow jersey on Wednesday, while linebacker Kane Patterson and Tayquon Johnson were both wearing green jerseys, which meant they could participate in non-contact drills.
By the way, Johnson, who redshirted as a defensive tackle last year, moved to the offensive line this spring where will work as a guard. Swinney said the move was the best thing for his future.
Cornerback Mario Goodrich also missed some practice time as he recovers from an ankle injury. Swinney is hopeful he will be back to full strength soon.
Clemson will return to practice on Friday.