Clemson could be without another starter on defense

Clemson could be without another starter on defense

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Clemson could be without another starter on defense

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said on his call-in show Monday night that there is a chance strongside linebacker Mike Jones will not be available for the Boston College game.

Swinney said the redshirt junior tweaked his hamstring during his 40-yard interception return in this past Saturday’s win over Syracuse.

“He is another guy that is hopefully nursing his way back this week,” Swinney said.

Swinney also updated the status of middle linebacker James Skalski (groin) and defensive tackle Tyler Davis (lower leg) for Saturday’s game, which is a noon kick at Death Valley.

“Yeah that is the million-dollar question. I am hopeful,” the Clemson coach said. “It is Monday, so we still have a ways to go. I feel good about Skalski. Tyler is going to be close. He might be another week.”

Jones and safety Nolan Turner were named the Tigers’ defensive players of the game by the Clemson coaches. Jones had three tackles and a half sack. The half sack came on the strip sack by Bryan Bresee, which cornerback Andrew Booth recovered and ran in for a 21-yard touchdown.

The Clemson linebacker fought through a block and then latched on to Syracuse quarterback Rex Culpepper until Bresee could come and clean the play up.

“He really did a great, great job. He and Nolan. It’s just amazing how those guys are playing for us right now,” Swinney said. “That was Mike’s best game.”

Jones has started all six games for the Tigers (6-0, 5-0 ACC) this year. He has 17 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, three quarterback pressures and three passes broken up thus far.

“I am really proud of Mike. He is a third-year player, and he has been putting the work in and grinding to get his opportunity,” Swinney said. “He backed up Isaiah (Simmons) for the last couple of years and now here he is. It is just great to see.

“It is one thing to gain the knowledge, but wisdom is the application of the knowledge. He has become a very wise player and so I am really proud of him because he has worked so hard. Brent (Venables) has pushed him, pushed him and pushed him. Mike loves it man. He loves to be coached and he loves to work to get better. I am proud of him.”

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