Even though fourth-ranked Clemson has had a week to rest its banged up defense, defensive coordinator Brent Venables says the list of the walking wounded is quite significant heading into Monday evening’s practice.
“There is a long list,” he said Monday during his meeting via Zoom with the media.
The list includes several starters, who were identified by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney last week. Of course, there in defensive tackle Tyler Davis (lower leg), middle linebacker James Skalski (groin) and strongside backer Mike Jones (hamstring), who missed the Notre Dame game, as well as other games.
Davis and Skalski have missed the last three games, while Jones has missed the last two.
According to Venables, Davis and Jones are on the day-to-day list. The news is not so good for Skalski, who will likely miss his fourth straight game when the Tigers (7-1, 6-1 ACC) visit Florida State on Saturday.
“I think Skalski is the one who is still not, obviously, (ready). I thought he would be ready, and he is not,” Venables said.
Besides Davis and Jones, Clemson’s injury list includes defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, safety Lannden Zanders, safety Nolan Turner, cornerback Sheridan Jones, cornerback Andrew Booth and defensive end Justin Mascoll.
“Everyone else is day-to-day. So that is a good thing that we can’t rule anybody out right now,” Venables said.
Having so many guys out in the last few minutes and overtime cost Clemson in its loss to No. 2 Notre Dame on Nov. 7. The Irish drove 91 yards in the final two minutes to force overtime and then rallied in the first overtime to tie the game again, before eventually winning the game in the second overtime.
“When you play really good people, you have to execute with precision, with timing and I thought they did a good job of blocking us and we tried to create one-on-ones as much as we could and find somebody that could win and we did not win enough,” Venables said. “We have to do a better job of staying in front of the quarterback and not letting him extend plays.”
Clemson and Florida State kickoff Saturday at noon. The game will be televised on ABC.
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