Not a lot went right for the Clemson football team in their season opener on Saturday, but one major positive from the game was that the Tigers left relatively healthy. The only significant blow the Tigers suffered was the loss of senior TE Sam Cooper.
Cooper suffered a broken fibula during pregame warm-ups, according to TigerNet. Fortunately for Clemson, a broken fibula is not quite as bad as it sounds, and Cooper should be available in about three weeks.
Although the tight ends struggled in the passing game on Saturday (two total catches for two yards), Cooper’s loss was more of a blow to the running game. And, as we saw, the run-blocking looked like it needed work. Clemson will certainly need the running game to function properly to take some of the heat off the quarterbacks going forward, particularly now that Georgia has shown that the Clemson offense can be derailed pretty effectively with heavy pressure.
The good news is the Tigers’ schedule is pretty friendly for the next three weeks. Clemson should get an easy win against the South Carolina State Bulldogs this weekend in Death Valley, then they have a bye week before heading to Tallahassee to take on the Florida State Seminoles. That puts Florida State three weeks away from when Cooper sustained his injury, so perhaps he will be available.
If not, he should be back in time to play the North Carolina Tar Heels at home the week after. Ideally, Cooper and the running game will both recover before the Florida State game, but the Tar Heels had one of the worst run-defenses in the ACC last season, so it might be Clemson’s best opportunity to get that aspect of the offense figured out.