Williamson Hurt

CLEMSON – The Clemson football team, which has gone through August without any major injuries, had a key member of the offense sustain what could be the team's first serious one toward the end of practice Monday night, CUTigers.com has learned.

Tight end Bobby Williamson had his right ankle rolled into near the end of practice, which put him on crutches. His right ankle was nearly the size of a softball.

"I heard it pop," Williamson told CUTigers.com. "I can't put any weight on it."

No bones were broken in his ankle, but it still not known whether any ligament, tendon or meniscus damage has occurred. Williamson will be questionable at best for Saturday's game against Texas A&M.

Had this injury happened in previous years, it wouldn't be as devastating because the tight end played such a minor role. But now that the position plays such an integral part in the offense, losing Williamson is akin to losing a starting receiver.

Williamson has had issues with health nearly all of August, but none of them were very serious. He had hydration problems, a deep bruise in a shoulder and a stomach virus.

Cole Downer, who is splits time with Williamson on the first team at tight end, was released from the hospital Saturday after suffering from a stomach virus, as well.

"It's been a rough one for me," he said, ironically enough, on Saturday. "Just a few bangs here and there, but nothing too serious. … If I go down, there will be Thomas (Hunter) and Akeem (Robinson) right there to back us up. It's not what we want, our top two tight ends restricted a little bit. But if it comes down to it at game time, we have two more tight ends ready to be thrown right in there."

Offensive coordinator Rob Spence, being ever optimistic, said if Williamson can't play it won't change the offense.

"We'll just play the next guy," he said. "I'm not sure yet (who it will be). We'll know before game time."

If Williamson can't play, Downer will handle all the first team duties, with Hunter moving up to the second team and Robinson playing in three tight end sets, tight ends coach Jack Hines said.

"Thomas Hunter will be ready to go," Hines said.

Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is still holding out hope Williamson will be able to take the field Saturday night.

"If you lose a starter at any position, it's not good," Whitehurst said. "Physically, if he can go, he's going to go. He told me that. But we'll just have to wait and see. It's an important position for us. There's no doubt Cole Downer can do it, but he's a little banged up. We'll have to see where he's at and see if he can play and I'm sure it will alter the game plan."

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