There is no competition for Clemson’s starting spot at the boundary wide receiver position. At least that is what head coach Dabo Swinney said following Wednesday’s practice at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson.
Swinney was asked if sophomores Frank Ladson and Joseph Ngata were still battling it out to see who will be the starter? Both wide receivers are listed as co-starters at the boundary spot for the Boston College Game.
“It has not been a battle because Joseph has not been able to do what he needs to do practice wise,” the Clemson head coach said. “He has gotten better. But he will take two steps forward and then one step back. Three steps forward and one step back. It has kind of been a process for him. You hate it for him, but that is kind of where we are.
“It has not been much competition for that, mainly due to injury and being able to practice like you need to practice to be able to compete.”
Ladson has played in all six games and is third on the team with 17 catches for 272 yards and three touchdowns. His three touchdown receptions rank second behind Amari Rodgers’ five.
Ngata has played sparingly due to an abdominal strain. Though he has played in five games, he has just six receptions for 69 yards and no touchdowns.
Will linebacker Mike Jones play Saturday? Linebacker Mike Jones’ status for Saturday’s game against Boston College is still up in the air. Jones is nursing a hamstring injury he suffered while returning an interception 40 yards in last week’s win over Syracuse.
Swinney said the redshirt sophomore is getting better and he is one of those guys that is kind of down to the wire on if he will play. It will be a game-time decision.
“Mike is getting better,” Swinney said after practice. “He is kind of one of those guys down to the wire, I think.”
Veteran corner is expected to return. Cornerback Mario Goodrich missed last week’s game against Syracuse for unspecified reason, but Swinney feels he will be ready to play this Saturday when they kickoff at Death Valley.
“He is better. I think he will be ready to go,” the coach said. “He could have played, but we held him. He was one of those guys nursing an injury last week. We were hoping we could hold him. We did not really feel like he was hundred percent and ready to go and we have other guys that are hundred percent. So, we were only going to play him if we had to.
“He has been a lot better this week. He has practiced well, and he seems to be moving really good without any sort of pain or anything.”
Tigers are still banged up. Besides Jones and Goodrich, Clemson has several other players banged up, according to Swinney.
Of course, defensive tackle Tyler Davis is questionable to play in Saturday’s game, while linebacker James Skalski is out for at least the next two games with a groin injury. Both players missed the Syracuse game last week.
“We got several guys (banged up). It is this time of the year. If you are not hurting somewhere, you are probably not working,” Swinney said. “We have several guys that are kind of in that same category. They are kind of day-to-day, nursing something.”
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