The road to recovery

CLEMSON - It appears that Gifford Timothy is healthy enough to suit up for Saturday's season opener against Auburn in the Georgia Dome.

Timothy, who was on the shelf with a knee injury less than a full week into camp after suffering a knee injury, returned to the practice field last Thursday.

Whether or not he's available to start this weekend is still up in the air.

Offensive coordinator Chad Morris suggested Monday it's possible based on what he's seen thus far.

"I feel like he'll be able to start," Morris said. "We'll know this week. He worked out last week and the more the week progressed, the more reps he got. He looked good. He's a little out of shape, but that comes with having two weeks off. We've got to get him back in game shape. I expect Giff to be the guy."

Meanwhile Timothy maintains he's got work to do.

"A lot of it will depend on practice this week. That's my plan and that's what I hope for," he said Monday. "Of course, who starts is the coaches' decision, but that's what I'm hoping for."

Four days after his first day back as a full participant, he told reporters that the knee continues to heal.

"It's been feeling really good," Timothy said. "It's not been swelling up half as much. That's mainly my only issue with it, to begin with. I haven't felt any pain for about half a week now, so it's been feeling pretty good."

Timothy will be charged with helping contain All-SEC defensive end Corey Lemonier. (Getty Images)
Timothy, who underwent surgery on the 10th, detailed the injury, "It was a little bit of a meniscus they had to clean up and my knee had to be put back into place. It got moved out of alignment."

Timothy and fellow right tackle Shaq Anthony will have to protect Tajh Boyd from Auburn's Corey Lemonier, who lines up at left defensive end.

Smaller scout team players like Kellen Jones have worked at defensive end to help simulate the quickness the Auburn defensive ends have coming off the edge.

"That's been good," Timothy said. "Going up against Malliciah [Goodman] everyday has been a huge help getting me prepared for the people I'm going to face this year."

What's the secret when it comes to fending off quick pass rushers?

"Hands, definitely getting your punch off and working so you give them a good shot before they get their move in," Timothy said.

He added, "Most guys that are quick and strong, if they can get their move in, you're out of luck. It's about getting your initial contact and keeping your feet moving."

As long as he's healthy enough to do it, Timothy is the first guy the Clemson coaches want to keep Boyd free from Lemonier. Top Stories