Cumbie Out for the Year

CLEMSON - No one could describe the news about Clemson defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie being lost for the year better than Clemson defensive line coach Chris Rumph did after Thursday's practice.

With Cumbie's injury, the Tigers, who will host The Citadel Saturday at 3:30 p.m., have now lost their second defensive tackle to injury and it's not even the second game of the year.

Tackle Rashaad Jackson will be out for at least another five weeks after having surgery to repair a torn quad tendon in his knee last month. With Jackson out and now Cumbie, Rumph has just a shell of the defensive line he had when Clemson played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl last December. The Tigers started that game against Auburn with Phillip Merling at end, Dorell Scott at the nose, and Jackson at tackle with Cumbie backing him up. With Merling gone to the pros, Rumph now only has Scott.

"I started out off like a stiff drink then all of sudden, now, I'm like a watered down Pepsi or something," he joked. "But hey, I have some good guys and we will respond. We will bounce back, we have no choice."

Clemson (0-1) will bounce back by moving Miguel Chavis from the nose to tackle where he will back up sophomore Jarvis Jenkins. Cumbie was sharing time with Jenkins before the injury. True freshman Brandon Thompson, who the coaches planned on redshirting this year, will back up Scott at tackle. Rumph said sophomore Rennie Moore will be redshirted.

"We will just see what happens," Rumph said. "Those guys are on scholarship too so they have to play."

Cumbie originally sustained the new injury in Clemson's loss to Alabama last Saturday, but he thought it was just a sprain. He practiced on Tuesday and apparently injured the wrist more.

Cumbie, who broke his left wrist, had X-rays taken Wednesday, and Thursday it was determined that he needed surgery. He is expected to miss at least six weeks before rehab and he can't have contact of any sort. With that said, Cumbie, along with head coach Tommy Bowden and Rumph were in agreement that redshirting was the best thing for the 6-foot-7, 270-pound junior.

"It's pretty much going to be the whole season," Cumbie said. "There is no need in wasting a whole season."

This is the second hand injury for Cumbie this year. He suffered a broken right hand during preseason practice. The defensive tackle played 39 snaps against Alabama, and had three tackles. Last year, he played in 13 games as a sophomore and started three of them. He finished 2007 with 29 tackles. Cumbie has not redshirted previously and would be eligible for a medical red-shirt that would allow him to play in 2009 and 2010.

"It turned out right," he said. "I have something to fall back on. I guess things could be worse. I have to keep a positive attitude right now."

Cumbie is the first player officially listed out for the season and the third to sustain a serious injury. Offensive guard Barry Humphries is out at least four to six weeks with an injured knee and his status for the season will be reevaluated after he has surgery.

Defensive end Ricky Sapp will sit out Saturday's game with a bruised knee, as will wide receiver Terrence Ashe, who has a sprained ankle.

Bowden said all the injuries to start the season reminds him a lot of the 2006 season, where Clemson lost several starters and key reserves to season-ending injuries.

"It kind of goes in cycles," he said. "I remember we had so many season-ending injuries. It kind of goes in spurts, although Sapp should be ready next week I hope, but Barry definitely will not, Rashaad will not and Cumbie will not." Top Stories