Clemson football defensive end Xavier Thomas is out for the year, and maybe his Clemson career, after a recurrence of a foot injury.
Thomas was originally injured back in training camp and missed the first five games of the season, before returning against Boston College and winning the ACC Defensive Player of the Week in just six snaps.
After 32 snaps the next week at Florida State, Thomas saw action on 14 plays in the win over Syracuse, before reinjuring himself last week in practice.
On the season Thomas had 4 total tackles, with 2 tackles for loss, both sacks, for -20 yards and 2 quarterback pressures in 52 snaps.
Coming into 2022, Thomas had 112 career tackles (27.5 for loss), 12.5 sacks, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 1,333 snaps in 46 games.
Despite being classified as a senior, Thomas is eligible to return in 2023, as he has not redshirted and has played in less than four games in 2022.
The consensus feeling is that Thomas will opt to rehab his injury and opt to test the NFL waters when that time comes, but there’s been no official word.
Shutting it down now and healing is the best decision for Thomas’ future and Clemson’s future if he decides to return.
It’ll be interesting to see how Thomas is viewed if he decides to opt to leave Clemson for the NFL. His injury history may be a concern, but there’s undeniable explosiveness and desire and Thomas gave his all for the Tigers.
With the loss of Thomas, Clemson football loses depth at defensive end
This leaves the defensive end position, which was once thought of as deep, a little thin.
Myles Murphy and K.J. Henry have been the mainstays, with 388 and 401 snaps respectively, and behind those two are Justin Mascoll (208) and Kevin Swint (153).
Behind that group are Greg Williams (30 snaps) and Cade Denhoff (19 snaps).
Clemson plays Louisville at 3:30 Saturday on ESPN as the Tigers try to right the ship after a disastrous trip to Notre Dame.