Injuries Plague Tigers as USC Looms


by - Correspondent -
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<font class=caption>Nick Eason is listed as doubtful for the USC game.</font>
Nick Eason is listed as doubtful for the USC game.

CLEMSON - When Clemson and South Carolina face off for the 100th time in the
history of the series on Saturday, three Tigers may have to observe history
from the sidelines.


Defensive tackles Nick Eason (Achilles) and Todd McClinton (stinger), along
with offensive guard Cedric Johnson (stinger), all missed Tuesday's practice
and are listed as doubtful for Saturday.


"I'm operating as if I won't have those three," Bowden said. "It really hurts
your depth."


Eason has been nursing the Achilles injury all year, sitting out Monday
practices - and some Tuesdays - for the last five weeks. Up until Saturday,
however, he has always been able to play on game days. But against Maryland
he left early and never returned.


McClinton, of course, was immobilized and taken off the field on a stretcher
last Saturday after rolling up on his neck attempting to make a block. While
his injury was slightly more severe, it is the same that Johnson suffered
earlier in the Maryland game.


As it stands now, Donnell Washington and DeJuan Polk would start at the
defensive tackle slots and be backed up by Eric Coleman and Trey Tate.


Johnson would be replaced at guard by Nathan Gillespie, who filled in for him
Saturday and played more in three-plus quarters than he had in his entire
career at Clemson.


"He actually did pretty well," Bowden said. "He didn't do too bad at all."


Elsewhere on the injury front, defensive backs Travis Pugh, Jamaal Fudge
(charley horse) and fullback Chad Jasmin (groin) are expected to be ready to
go by Saturday.


All three were held out of practice Tuesday.

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