CLEMSON - For the first time since fall camp opened almost two weeks ago, injuries are beginning to worry Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden.
Center Dustin Fry continues to be hampered by a nagging hamstring injury. He didn't practice again during either of Monday's workouts, after missing the first major scrimmage of the year over the weekend.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Kelvin Grant's injury suffered during the scrimmage was diagnosed as a separated shoulder. His status is officially listed as doubtful for the Sept. 3 season-opener vs. Texas A&M.
Fry's injury has been the most perplexing, Bowden said.
"Usually you don't see a hamstring injury linger like this on a lineman," he said. "On a skill guy, yeah, but I've never seen a big, heavy guy have one this long. This started this summer...
"It must be pretty serious. He's a pretty tough guy, Dustin is. I don't question his toughness at all. It's just the extent of the injury."
Worse, none of the other three players who have worked at center in Fry's absence - Roman Fry, Bobby Hutchinson and Barry Humphries - have been overly impressive. In fact, Bowden said the center-quarterback exchange was presenting major problems for the Tigers' offense Monday.
"It's hard for the quarterback to execute his assignments, as far as locating safeties and reading coverages, if he's chasing balls on the ground all over," Bowden said. "We tried to address that today."
Asked which of the three would have the upper hand if Dustin Fry's problems continue, Bowden shrugged his shoulders.
"Whichever one can get the snap back there. Even if he can't block anybody, at least we'd have a chance to get going after that."
As for Grant, the only work he's able to do is conditioning. His arm is in a sling, and there's no firm timetable for when he will return.
The injury makes redshirt freshman Aaron Kelly the clear-cut No. 1 at the X-receiver spot, with true freshman Rendrick Taylor now moving into the second team slot.
Elsewhere, Bowden said a review of the film of Saturday's scrimmage confirmed that Clemson's tackling problems came as the result of poor angles more than anything else.
"We did conditioning after (the second) workout today," Bowden said, "but (defensive coordinator) Vic (Koening) did some reminders after the morning practice."
In other news, Bowden said Cole Downer has moved ahead of Bobby Williamson for the first team tight end slot.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.