Expect More Jacoby Ford

CLEMSON – The very week that one of Clemson's key defensive players returns from a broken foot, it's main passing threat and one of the best receivers in the ACC is gone a minimum of three weeks with the exact same injury.

Tigers senior wide receiver Chansi Stuckey broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during practice Tuesday evening in a non-contact drill during practice. He will undergo surgery Wednesday to have a split placed in his foot to keep the bone in place and help the healing process.

"I was just making a cut and running a route against C.J. (Gaddis), and I just put a little too much weight on the outside of my foot and I just felt it pop," Stuckey said after being fitted with a walking cast. "It's just something that happens. Now, I've got to deal with it."

The initial hopes are that Stuckey will be able to return for the Thursday night game at Virginia Tech on Oct. 26. However, there's also a chance he won't be ready to go until the following game against Maryland on Nov. 4.

"It's kind of discouraging, but I look at people like (linebacker) Anthony Waters and it could be as bad as his (season-ending knee injury)," Stuckey said. "He can't even come back. The good thing is I can come back from this injury. …

"Whenever the pain goes away and I feel like I can do something on the field, that's when they'll let me come back."

Replacing Stuckey will be difficult, to say the least. He is tied for the league lead with Georgia Tech star receiver Calvin Johnson with 25 receptions. He's second in the league in receiving yards per game with 66.2.

True freshman Jacoby Ford will get the start at that position Saturday against Wake Forest.

Through five games, Ford has one catch for minus-seven yards.

"As far as the team goes, somebody's got to step up," wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney said. "We're going to find out if Jacoby Ford can really run. I'm excited for those guys. That's the way things are in football and in life, when one guys falls, somebody's got to pick it up and we've got some really good candidates.

"Jacoby will certainly get his opportunity to show what he can do. We'll see how far he's come. He's ready to play. He's been getting better each week."

For his part, Ford said he's ready to step to the forefront.

"I think I'm ready," Ford said. "I've been watching Chansi a lot and everything he does. I think I'm ready to go out there make a couple of plays."

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