Nursing the bumps and bruises

Three important cogs to the Clemson offense are on the injury watch list, heading into the upcoming game with Georgia Tech.

All-American wide receiver Sammy Watkins continues to battle the "abdominal virus" that forced him to miss the trip to Boston College.

When Dabo Swinney met with the media for the post-game press conference on Saturday night, he said Watkins had been feeling better than he was before the team left on Friday.

During Swinney's Sunday teleconference, there was no word on how much Watkins had or had not improved since he faced the media in Chestnut Hill.

"[Director of Sports Medicine] Danny Poole actually took him today -- was taking [Watkins] this afternoon -- to get some more blood work," Swinney said. "The initial blood work that they did looks good. They were taking him to a different type of blood work today.

"He feels a lot better -- that's a good thing. It sounds like he's definitely improved greatly since Thursday night. Danny Poole was personally taking him today, so I'll find out a little more tonight, but I won't have any type of update until tomorrow."

Dalton Freeman played through a thumb injury that he suffered against Boston College.

"It'll probably be a little sore tomorrow and Tuesday," Swinney said. "Probably, by Wednesday, he should be ready to go. He was able to finish the game. He played with it pretty sore the majority of the game, but he'll be OK."

There is cause for concern at running back. Backup D.J. Howard was sidelined in the second half with a shoulder injury.

"D.J. Howard is probably the most questionable as we sit here today, with his shoulder," Swinney said. "Everybody looks like they should be good to go, so we're in pretty good shape there."

Changes in personnel…

Garry Peters was subbed into the cornerback spot for Darius Robinson on the last play of the first half against Boston College and remained there through the second. With his performance, Peters has earned the right to the No. 1 spot alongside Bashaud Breeland.

"We're going to start Garry this week," Swinney said. "He earned it."

However, the starting spot against Georgia Tech isn't guaranteed.

"He's got to practice well, but we'll give him the opportunity to be the No. 1 going into tomorrow's practice, for sure," Swinney said. "I'm really proud of how he responded and how he competed."

Like some of the play in the secondary, production at the kickoff specialist job hasn't been quite as consistent as Swinney would like. That's opened the door for Ammon Lakip, who will compete with Spencer Benton and Bradley Pinion for the job.

Neither Benton nor Pinion has been consistent enough through the first five games.

"It's just kind of been a frustrating thing," Swinney said. "If the ball's going to get returned, we'd rather have Spencer in there. He's going to go make the tackle, if nothing else."

Lakip, a redshirt freshman, has primarily focused on field goals.

"He's got a big leg, as well…we're excited about Ammon," Swinney said.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech will venture up I-85 towards Death Valley a week removed from the 49-28 home loss to Middle Tennessee. That one loss won't change Swinney's perspective when it comes to the Yellow Jackets.

"We look like the keystone cops, sometimes. We're a long way away from overlooking anybody, because we've got a lot of improving to do as a team," Swinney said. "Listen, I don't who Georgia Tech has played, beaten or lost to.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for their program, their coaching staff, the tradition of this game and all that stuff." Top Stories