CLEMSON - Clemson confirmed the worst of all possible news surrounding redshirt junior wide receiver Kelvin Grant on Thursday.
As speculated, Grant suffered a torn ACL during Wednesday's practice and will be out for the rest of the season.
"The last two-and-a-half, three weeks he had really been doing well," Tigers' head coach Tommy Bowden said following Thursday's practice. "An inconsistent performance by him had kind of been his track record, but he had really been doing well. Academically, on the field, off the field...everything involved."
Grant, who had been pushing Aaron Kelly for the starting X-receiver spot, suffered the injury when he made a cut while running on Wednesday. There was no contact on the play, his knee simply gave out.
"This is difficult to deal with, but I have a good support system to help me through this," said Grant via a university press release. "This is a setback and a hurdle to overcome. But, I will work hard to get back on the field next season."
The injury means redshirt freshman Andrew Diomande moves into the backup role at the X spot.
It also will be something of a mental test for Grant, who has struggled with inconsistency in both on-field performance and academic performance during his career. How he reacts to the injury and long recovery time will be of great interest to those inside the Clemson program.
"Sometimes things like this can be a wakeup call," Bowden said. "Ideally, for what he needs to do for all people involved and what's best for him, if his ambition is to go to the NFL he needs another year. If his ambition is to graduate he needs another year.
"Therefore somebody has made the decision for him, as to what he needs best...If he thought the best decision was to come out early, but it looks like somebody else made that decision for him."
Grant was fifth on the team in receptions this season with 10, for 84 yards. He started five games last year and played in 10 overall when he had 23 receptions for 274 yards. He has 45 career receptions in 26 career games for 437 yards and one touchdown.
The Tigers worked out in shifts Thursday because of the rain, getting one unit at a time on the single artificial practice surface at the Jervey complex.
After working on kicking as a group, the defense practiced while the offense watched film. The unit's then switched places later in the session.
"We had a long practice (Wednesday)," Bowden said, "so this gave us and opportunity to maximize our film work."
Christian Capote missed another practice with his sprained foot. However wide receiver Rendrick Taylor (wrist) and offensive lineman Chris McDuffie (calf) were back in action.