Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney announced that the Tigers starting two defensive tackles would miss spring practice with injuries.
Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney met with the media on National Signing Day and talked about the 2019 class, as well as the upcoming season in addition to a variety of topics.
One of the biggest tidbits of information from Swinney was that defensive tackles Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams would miss spring practice with injuries.
Pinckney had surgery on his pectoral muscle and will be recovering from that. Williams injured his leg and needs to have a screw put in it. Both guys are expected to be back later this summer for workouts and fall camp, but will miss the entirety of spring practice.
There’s good news and bad news that can come out of this situation. Let’s start with the bad news and then work our way back to the good news.
The bad news…
It’s never a good thing when you lose two guys that were projected to be starters at a position where you just don’t have a lot of depth.
As a matter of fact, I’d argue that the defensive tackle position may be the thinnest position on the entire team, but certainly on that defense.
The Tigers are looking to replace two historically great defensive tackles in Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence and now neither of the guys will get any reps in the spring. That kind of puts the Tigers behind the eight ball, at least in a sense with developing chemistry in the first-team and getting those two guys ready to play a much bigger role than what they’ve played in years past.
The good news…
The good news is that both guys are expected back and that they were both able to gain some experience this year as backups behind Wilkins and Lawrence this year.
Another “good” thing about this is that you’ll see Xavier Kelly, Darnell Jefferies and a couple of the other young guys get a lot of reps in the spring. That will help build much-needed depth at the position and give some of those young guys confidence when we get into the fall.
It’s certainly not ideal, but at least it didn’t happen in the fall. The two guys are expected back and at least you’ll be able to build some depth behind them and perhaps create some competition at the defensive tackle spot heading into the summer.