Blog: CB Mackensie Alexander re-aggravates groin injury, won’t play Saturday

@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON — Freshman cornerback Mackensie Alexander aggravated a painful injury Tuesday, exactly one month after sustaining a pulled groin, and will miss Saturday’s tilt against South Carolina State.

The top-flight recruit was hoping to make his Clemson debut in a soft matchup, but according to head coach Dabo Swinney, a redshirt is not out of the question if Alexander’s injury lingers too long.

The next possible debut for Alexander would be Sept. 19, the Tigers’ ACC opener on Thursday night against North Carolina State. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables, speaking Tuesday before Alexander’s setback, is confident Alexander can step into any environment and play.

“That kid don’t care,” Venables said. “I wouldn’t be scared because he’s got the right demeanor for it, and he doesn’t care who he’s going up against. He’s mature beyond his years in those ways.”

7 at 7: Seven reactions from Dabo Swinney, who’s “tired of that storyline” of Clemson’s inconsistency

Dabo Swinney

@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON – Seven topics touched on by head coach Dabo Swinney in the 24 hours after No. 8 Clemson’s 38-35 epic victory over No. 5 Georgia, and we start with a passionate plea Swinney clearly wanted to throw off his chest …

1) It was a simple, fair question. Does becoming the first non-SEC team to win two consecutive games against SEC opponents ranked in the top ten in college football history dispel the notion that Clemson underachieves?

Well, it’s an unfair question in that upsets are par for the course in college football. It’s fair in that Clemson has been unable to fulfill expectations in the past, and in sports, picking nits is part of the deal.

Anyway, Swinney went off.

“Yeah, well, I don’t get that. Y’all need to start writing something different. People, whoever covers us, need to start asking different questions,” Swinney said, with ire in his voice as the clock pushed past 1 a.m. Sunday.

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Practice report: Clemson plows through the injury bug

Martin Jenkins


CLEMSON – The injured list continues to shrink and grow by the day for Clemson; while some guys return, others go down with a groin or a hamstring or a buttock. (Yes, you read correctly. Hold your questions for a minute.)

If it’s any consolation – not that pain and suffering should be taken lightly – Georgia’s dealing with more of the same. Literally: more.

Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph – who you’ll hear from frequently the week leading up to Aug. 31 – has an exhaustive report on the nicks and dings ravaging the Bulldogs’ depth chart during fall camp.

Even as the Tigers go through scrimmages with four available cornerbacks, while the wide receivers conduct a conga line through the trainer’s room, head coach Dabo Swinney isn’t about to coddle the Tigers.

“I don’t think you can practice scared,” Swinney said Monday at noon following a morning session, and seven hours before an evening practice.

Two-a-days proceed as scheduled.

“We’ve got a well-thought-out plan of preparation, and we’ve got to execute our plan. There’s no other way to get your team ready, especially if you aren’t opening with a team like Georgia, then maybe you can pace some guys a little bit differently.”

Full story: Targeting, ejections a jarring concern for defenses

Once fall camp transitions into game week, the Tigers will throttle back. But not with 19 days to go before the opener.

“There’s a few guys you can probably hold here and there in some spots,” Swinney said. “But at this point, it’s way too early for that. You’ve got to go through it.”

The latest batch is improving, on the bright side. Cornerback Garry Peters was “full-go” Monday; cornerbacks Darius Robinson (concussion) and Mackensie Alexander (groin) were confidently rehabbing, with hopes of a midweek return; and cornerback Adrian Baker has an MRI for his knee scheduled this afternoon, though there doesn’t appear to have structural damage in any ligaments and can put weight on the leg.

Then there’s cornerback Martin Jenkins, who took a medical redshirt last year with hernia surgery. He’s got an even more unique injury in camp.

“Martin has … I don’t know a better way to say it … but he’s got an arthritic deal in his butt. I don’t know how else to say it,” Swinney said. “It’s genetic. His dad had the same thing. It’s a matter of trying to get the right medication, and trying to get the dosage right to where he can go.”

Jenkins was able to go through team drills and 1-on-1 drills Monday morning.

“(The trainers) feel like they’ve got a good plan in place, and he was able to do more today than he’s been able to do,” Swinney said. “It can be treated and it can get better. It’s just a matter of when.”

Wide receiver T.J. Green, who avoided an ACL scare last week, could return sometime this week. Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries have bolstered the position’s depth by returning.

Maybe if the Tigers were opening against, say, Florida Atlantic and Georgia Southern, it’d be different.

“There’s no way to prepare our team for what they’re going to face than try to create that type of atmosphere on your practice field every day,” Swinney said. “If you don’t, then you’re not giving them a chance; you’re doing them a disservice.

“Right now is the time to push. We’ll pull back and start working on their legs as we start shifting focusing on Georgia. But right now, it’s all about Clemson. Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the deal.”

Practice notes: T.J. Green avoids torn ACL, Tigers getting iPads for film study


CLEMSON — Never before has Clemson freshman athlete T.J. Green loved hearing he has a knee sprain and bone bruise, as discovered by an MRI Wednesday.

“That is the best news I have had today,” Dabo Swinney said.  “We were fearful that he had suffered a season ending injury.”

The team disclosed Thursday Green avoided a torn ACL, which means he’ll miss extended time but not the entire season. Green has factored in to punt and kick return work, and could be used in a variety of ways once healthy.

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Practice notes: Robinson tweaks ankle, two leave program


CLEMSON — Nothing serious so far, but a few Clemson players are already feeling the effects of training camp injuries.

Add senior cornerback Darius Robinson to the list, who sat out Monday night’s practice after twisting his ankle Saturday. Robinson will battle Martin Jenkins for a starting cornerback position.

Wide receiver Mike Williams and cornerback Mackensie Alexander, both freshmen, each pulled a groin last week, and junior receiver Adam Humphries pulled a hamstring. All three missed Monday’s practice.

The quartet of hobbled players is expected to return to the field before the end of the week. Offensive guard Spencer Region continues to work his way back from hip surgery.

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