Another Wave of Injuries Hits Receivers

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Just when Clemson's receiving corps seemed to be over its injury problems, here comes another wave.

Saturday's toll in the 41-27 loss to Florida State included wide receivers Jackie Robinson (pulled groin) and Derrick Hamilton (sprained ankle), and tight ends Ben Hall (shoulder) and Morgan Woodward (ribs).

Hall was the only one of the four to participate in Monday's practice, but only because it was a non-contact day.

"It kind of goes on with the way the year's gone," head coach Tommy Bowden said following Monday's practice. "You go back to everything that's happened - injuries, discipline, even (defensive coordinator) Reggie (Herring's torn Achilles). It's just one of those years. I'm glad we're getting it out of our system."

Of the four, Woodward's injury is the one most likely to keep him from playing Saturday at Maryland. He won't practice Tuesday, and it's unlikely Hamilton or Robinson will go.

Hall's injury, at first thought to be a separation, now appears to be more of a severe sprain. He will be held out of contact drills today, then be reevaluated on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, if there is such a thing a blessing in disguise, the injuries to Hall and Woodward have thrust Todd McClinton into the spotlight at tight end. McClinton, who came to Clemson amid much hoopla last year, only to sit out the season as a partial qualifier, had struggled with the offense in practice for much of the season.

But according to Bowden, the 6-foot-6, 275-pound McClinton has been coming on the past two or three weeks, and his playing time has steadily increased as a result.

"Boy, he's really been doing good. He's been practicing well and played a little more (Saturday)," said Bowden. "He's really taking off right now. You're seeing him get a lot more confidence in what he's doing. Speed of the game, tempo of the game...he's really doing good."


-Bowden said the sideline scuffle Saturday involving graduate assistant strength coach John Moore "has been handled internally."

According to a source speaking on the condition of anonymity, Moore either struck or gave a hard, one-handed shove to a Clemson player near the end of the first half against Florida State. That escalated into brief scuffle while others, including new director of football operations Billy D'Andrea and strength training director Joey Batson, scrambled to get Moore under control.

Moore was escorted from the stadium and did not return for the second half.

The source said several forms of punishment reportedly were being discussed, but Bowden refused to elaborate Monday, saying only it was a "dead issue internally."

- Clemson's game in two weeks at South Carolina will be a 12:30 p.m. kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

The game will be televised by Jefferson Pilot.

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