Clemson Football has been devastated by injuries over the past two seasons. Thus far, 2023 has seen better luck on the injury front, but as we approach mid-season, they are starting to take a toll.
Cole Turner was lost for the season a couple of weeks ago, and we learned after the FSU game that Walker Parks would miss the rest of the season as well.
Andrew Mukuba has returned following an injury, and we are hopeful Antonio Williams can return after missing the FSU game.
Tyler Brown, who has been impactful as a true freshman, was also dinged up in the FSU game. Another impact freshman, TJ Parker, received an MRI as a precautionary measure this past week.
Lastly, Nate Wiggins suffered a bone bruise against FSU. It isn’t an injury that is expected to cost him significant time, but it is unknown if he can return this weekend.
The Tigers’ current situation still doesn’t feel as serious as it did at times during the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, but the Tigers must begin relying on the ‘next man up’.
While Turner was not a starter, he was a significant part of the planned rotation for Clemson at wide receiver. Brown had already earned more playing time, but with Turner’s absence, he will be relied on more.
We don’t know Williams’s status yet, but signs suggest he could be returning at Syracuse. Even then, knowing he and Brown both are recovering from injury, others may need to step up.
Some guys who will need to step up for Clemson Football have dealt with their own injuries in the past
The obvious name is Troy Stellato, which is ironic. Stellato barely saw the practice field, much less game time, during his first two seasons in the program. Now as a redshirt sophomore, he could be the guy the team turns to if Williams or Brown are further impaired by injuries.
On the offensive line, it looks like Mitchell Mayes will be the guy stepping into Parks’s right guard spot. Mayes has as much experience as anyone among the second-string linemen. He stepped in for Marcus Tate when he was injured in 2022, so there is hope that the line won’t see a notable drop off in effectiveness.
It is very conceivable that Wiggins will not be able to play against the Orange, which is disappointing considering he has played very well this season. The guy who will join Sheridan Jones in the starting lineup will be Jaedyn Lukus. Lukus missed time in 2022 due to injury but was catching up on his development by the end of the season. This year he earned the primary back-up role for the cornerbacks and will get the start if Wiggins can’t go.