Clemson’s defense suffers a big loss

Clemson’s defense suffers a big loss

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Clemson’s defense suffers a big loss

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Clemson’s defense took a big blow. Head coach Dabo Swinney announced at his weekly press conference on Tuesday it will be without starting linebacker James Skalski for a little bit longer than expected.

Skalski missed this past Saturday’s game with Syracuse because of an injury to his groin. On Monday, an MRI revealed there was more damage to the groin than they first thought.

Swinney is not sure when the defense’s starting middle linebacker will be back.

“We really felt like Skalski was going to be good to go. He was feeling pretty good,” Swinney said. “After we tested him last night, we went and got a quick MRI, and looks like he is going to have to have a little scope surgery. So, he is going to be out for a few games.”

Skalski started the first five games for the Tigers and had 27 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a half sack. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown in the Tigers win over The Citadel on Sept. 19.

“That is a big loss for us,” Swinney said. “We have a few other guys banged up that are all working to get back. It is a day-to-day thing with those guys. But Skalski is going to miss a few games, unfortunately. We definitely anticipate getting him back in a few games, but we will just have to see how it all goes and how quickly he responds to the scope.

“He is a great football player, and I hate that for him. I really do. He is a senior. I hate that he has to miss his last couple of home games, or at least one of them anyway. We will get him back as soon as we can.”

Swinney also updated the latest on starting defensive tackle Tyler Davis, who was rolled up in practice last Wednesday and missed the Syracuse game.

“I am very confident that he will be back soon,” the Clemson coach said. “Hopefully sooner than later. I am pretty confident there.”

Starting strongside linebacker Mike Jones tweaked his hamstring during his 40-yard interception return on Saturday and he is questionable for this Saturday’s game against Boston College.

“He’s day to day. It is around this time of the year you have guys who may be a little slow to start a week,” Swinney said. “He may play but he may not. It’s Tuesday, we’ll know more later in the week.”

The top-ranked Tigers host the Eagles at noon on Saturday at Death Valley.

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