Bowden, Tigers Press On Despite Latest Injuries


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After practice audio from Tommy Bowden: Windows Media



CLEMSON - Chansi Stuckey celebrated his 23rd birthday by having surgery on his broken foot Wednesday morning. Tommy Bowden spent the day trying to conduct business as usual.

Stuckey, the senior wide receiver from Warner Robbins, Ga., broke the foot Tuesday in a non-contact drill during practice. The same day, freshman wide receiver Jeffry Ogren also suffered a broken foot, again in a non-contact drill.

Asked following Wednesday's practice if there were something linking the rash of foot injuries together, Bowden shook his head.

"(Wide receivers coach) Dabo (Swinney) asked me if it could be the shoes, but it's the shoes everybody else wears," he said. "You just have to look at how they happened...Chansi's may have happened on the artificial turf..."

His voice trailed off, his mind searching for answers.

But there appear to be none. None except that apparently the football gods have determined that this is the season Clemson must overcome major adversity caused by injury.

First it was Tremaine Billie's broken ankle, then Anthony Waters' torn ACL.

Then Michael Hamlin broke a foot. Now Stuckey.

All starters. All major contributors. Stuckey and Waters (Ogren, too, but he is redshirting) happening despite no contact.

It is another situation, Bowden said, where the entire team - not just Jacoby Ford or the other wide receivers - must help pick up the slack.

"Now I may ask the defense to get us another possession, or maybe they have to give up three less points," Bowden said. "The offensive line may have to generate one more first down...We've been through it before."

***

NOTES

- Jad Dean's kicks have been better this week, Bowden said.

"He's been kicking pretty good. He's a veteran guy," he said. "Times are good and he's getting them up there."

- Running back Reggie Merriweather remains doubtful for Saturday's game with Wake Forest because of recurring problems with his sprained ankle.

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