Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said this week that his team was as healthy as it’s been all season, and he was proud of how they’ve handled themselves in terms of COVID-19 protocols.
That all seems to have paid off for Saturday night. Coming off an open date, No, 1 Clemson doesn’t have any unexpected starters out for the 8 p.m. game against Virginia in Memorial Stadium.
The Tigers will be without defensive ends Xavier Thomas and Justin Foster, which Swinney basically announced earlier in the week. Thomas is still working himself into football shape after a pair of offseason illness and is getting close to returning. Foster, meanwhile, hasn’t been cleared medically this season and is still day-to-day.
Of the 119-man roster, Clemson will also be without OL Kaleb Boateng, LB David Cote, S Peter Cote, WR Hampton Earle, WR Tye Herbstreit, LB Matthew Maloney, TE Luke Price and DT Ruke Orhohoro, who is out until at least December with a knee injury.
None of those players were listed on the two-deep depth chart.
The Tigers (2-0) are also down a running back as former Tiger Demarkcus Bowman entered the NCAA transfer portal earlier this week and picked his new destination Saturday.
Clemson sophomore defensive tackle Tyler Davis is expected to return after missing the last game against The Citadel with a knee injury he suffered against Wake Forest in Week 1. It’s unknown if he’ll start or how much he’ll be in the rotation in his first game back. Cornerback Mario Goodrich should make his season debut against Virginia while receiver Joseph Ngata is expected to be fine after coming out of the last game with an abdominal strain.
Virginia (1-0), meanwhile, isn’t as fortunate roster-wise.