Injury could impact Clemson's defensive line now and later

Injury could impact Clemson's defensive line now and later

Football

Injury could impact Clemson's defensive line now and later

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Clemson will once again be without one of its most significant contributors along the defensive line for the foreseeable future.

Tyler Davis is on the shelf for at the least the next couple of months with a bicep injury that will require surgery. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney revealed the news during his weekly radio show Monday.

It’s the latest bite Davis has received from the injury bug during his three years with the Tigers. A second-team all-ACC selection as a true freshman in 2019, the junior defensive tackle fought through a couple of nagging injuries last season to play seven games, He finished the season with just 17 tackles and two sacks and had eight tackles in the two games he played this season.

Davis missed the opener against Georgia for undisclosed reasons. Sophomore Ruke Orhorhoro slid in as the starter alongside Bryan Bresee in that game and may be the leading candidate to do so on a permanent basis with Davis out, though fellow sophomore Tre Williams is listed as Davis’ backup on Clemson’s depth chart.

Either way, Davis’ loss is a blow to the experienced depth on the interior of the defensive line. Darnell Jefferies and Etinosa Reuben are the only other two players at the position with more than 24 career snaps. Freshmen Payton Page and DeMonte Capehart could log more going forward.

As for Davis, he’s expected to miss anywhere from seven to eight weeks, Swinney said. Clemson is slated to play seven games over the next eight weeks (open date on Oct. 9), which, if Davis is out until the back end of that timeframe, would have him returning with two games left in the regular season.

With the four-game redshirt rule, Davis could play against Wake Forest and South Carolina or even be held for the postseason and still keep his redshirt. Even if he ends up playing more than four games, Davis still has eligibility left beyond this season. But he’ll be eligible to declare for the NFL Draft after this season if he wants, and he could be inclined to test those waters rather than sticking around to risk another injury in college.

Or his latest injury could entice him to return in order to get another full season’s worth of games on tape at full strength in an effort to improve his stock for the 2023 draft. Time will tell.

Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!

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