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The injury list just keeps piling for Clemson with two more players out for the season.
Tigers senior starting offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst tore his ACL during the first quarter of Saturday’s 27-17 ACC game loss to No. 23 Pitt at Heinz Field. Bockhorst started the season at center and also played at guard with a total of 371 snaps over six games prior to Saturday’s contest.
“Losing Bockhorst was big,” Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “He’s not just a physical presence in there. He’s a leader and keeps guys in line. He’s able to help with the communication.”
Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney also revealed that wide receiver Frank Ladson had surgery on Thursday and will be out for the rest of year. He’ll end the year with 19 yards on four receptions over five games played.
“It’s just so disappointing for that young man,” Swinney said. “He played as a freshman and then last year, he wasn’t available very much, ended up having to have surgery on the left side of his groin and then played a couple games this year and now he’s out for the year.”
Ladson and fellow receivers Joseph Ngata (COVID-19 protocol) and E.J. Williams (knee) were unavailable on Saturday, though Swinney says he’s hoping to get Ngata and Williams back this coming week.
Also during the game against the Panthers, Clemson tight end Braden Galloway separated his shoulder. Swinney couldn’t confirm, but believes that injury will be season ending for the senior.
“We’ve got five weeks left. We’ll see,” he commented.
Galloway had started three games this season, but was out for two in concussion protocol after getting hit in the head against Boston College on Oct. 2. In five games played, he’s recorded four catches for 14 yards.
In total, Swinney said the Tigers have 17 scholarship players out.
“It’s some of the craziest stuff I’ve been a part of ever since I’ve been in college football,” Swinney said. “It’s just crazy some of the things we’ve dealt with. You’ve got to know that it’s all good in the long run. … We’ve got guys all over the place, but I still think we have enough to win. We’re just young and immature and not very confident and not playing with any type of precision, and that’s my responsibility is to take what we have and go win. That’s my responsibility and I’ve done a poor job of that. I’ve got to find a way to get us better.”
The Tigers did get back running back Will Shipley (knee) and defensive tackle Tyler Davis (bicep) as well as cornerbacks Andrew Booth (hamstring) and Fred Davis (groin) on Saturday, but were missing defensive lineman Justin Foster for an undisclosed reason.
Clemson will return home and try to bounce back at home against Florida State at 3:30 p.m. next Saturday.