Dabo Swinney told his Clemson team the other day they looked like Georgia Tech running around at practice because so many guys were wearing yellow jerseys. At one point in camp, the Tigers had as many as 21 players banged or nicked up with some players missing several days of practice.
But the good news is they are getting healthy at the right time. With the season opener just 17 days away, Swinney reports his team is in the best spot they have been when it comes to injuries.
“Last week, we were pretty beat up,” he said. “We had a couple of scrimmages and some physical practices and things. So, it was good to see them get a couple of days off.
“I thought we have been in a much better place, as guys are kind of going from yellow to green, which means they are working back in practice.”
Swinney reported cornerback Andrew Booth was back in practice and had one of his best days to this point, while freshman tight end Sage Ennis was also back in practice after he missed time due to mono.
Offensive guard Tayquon Johnson was back at practice as well, as was defensive tackle Etinosa Reuben.
“We are getting some guys back,” Swinney said. “We still have a few guys that are kind of banged up. Tyler Venables was out today. He had a little hamstring strain. So, we have had some guys that will pop up with things from time to time, but the majority of the guys, I am pleased with where we are going from a health standpoint.
“Hopefully, it will just keep getting better.”
Swinney was asked about the health of running backs Lyn-J Dixon and Chex Mellusi. He said Mellusi (shoulder) will be close to return by the time the Wake Forest game rolls around on Sept. 12. He reported Dixon is looking well and is working really hard on his strengthening and getting back.
“I anticipate next week, hopefully, Lyn-J will be able to ramp it up a little bit more.
Swinney mention the Tigers did hold out a couple of players on the offensive line that they know will be in the rotation once the season starts. Offensive lineman Blake Vinson has still not returned to practice, but Swinney said he is working his way back.
Tight end Luke Price was injured during the scrimmage. Swinney did not say what the redshirt junior injured, but he did say he got injured after making a great catch during the scrimmage.
Wide receiver Ajou Ajou (hamstring) returned to practice, while defensive end K.J. Henry missed his first practice since camp began. Swinney did not elaborate on Henry’s injury and why he did not participate in Wednesday’s scrimmage at Death Valley.
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