Despite concussion, he does remember best part of Saturday - celebrating with teammates

Palmer's memory is fuzzy

pstrelow@thestate.comOctober 28, 2009 

CLEMSON - In the days since Clemson's triumph at Miami on Saturday, teammates have clued in senior tight end Michael Palmer to the bizarre behavior he displayed upon sustaining a concussion.

Palmer, sidelined after a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit early in the fourth quarter, repeatedly yelled for backup Dwayne Allen on the sideline. Allen couldn't decipher Palmer's motivational message when he found him.

Palmer does recall being in the training room, about to receive stitches in his left elbow for a separate injury, as the Tigers prepared for their game-winning touchdown.

Palmer recognized the signal and called for receiver Jacoby Ford to make the play.

When Ford did, Palmer hugged team physician Len Reeves and took off out the door.

"He was chasing after me, yelling after me," Palmer said. "I ran out of the tunnel and didn't have any socks or shoes on. The first guy I saw was Durell (Barry), and he looked at me like, "What are you doing?"

"I was just out there running around with everybody, celebrating. I might not have completely known what was going on, but I knew I didn't want to miss that moment with my teammates. That's something I'll never forget."

Listed as doubtful, Palmer is unlikely to play Saturday against Coastal Carolina. He has been told he will not participate in contact at practice this week, and he said he has had a pounding headache for two consecutive days.

Injury update, Part 2. Two other starters said they have been limited early in the week by injuries, although it was not expected to affect their status for Saturday.

Sophomore defensive end Da'Quan Bowers said he sustained a mild concussion early in the Miami game but did not tell team doctors of his symptoms until afterward. Bowers said he expected to participate with minimal contact in Tuesday's practice.

Senior left guard Thomas Austin said he pulled a muscle in his shoulder and sat out most of Monday's practice.

Also, coach Dabo Swinney said junior linebacker Scotty Cooper might be able to play after missing the past two games because of a concussion. Cooper was to be re-evaluated after going through Tuesday's contact practice.

Look and learn. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier said he doesn't know whether the Tigers would have taken a crack at the end zone if they had stopped the clock in time at the end of regulation.

Jamie Harper finished a run to the Miami 13 with 20 seconds left, and Swinney frantically signaled for quarterback Kyle Parker to spike the ball. But by the time the Tigers got to the line, Swinney called timeout, and the clock was at 9 seconds. So they had Richard Jackson kick the tying, 30-yard field goal.

"We had a play in mind that we were going to try," Napier said. "But personally, after throwing an interception down there, I would've probably just moved it to the middle and kicked a field goal.

"Kyle, in particular, never even looked to the sideline after he handed the ball off. We're up there about to rip our headsets off. So we had to waste our timeout. That's just living and learning, awareness."

Extra points. The honors keep rolling in for junior safety DeAndre McDaniel, who has named the national defensive player of the week by the Football Writers Association of America. ... Former Clemson running back James Davis will attend Saturday's game, C.J. Spiller said. Davis, a rookie with the NFL's Cleveland Browns, is out for the season with a shoulder injury. ... Napier said Clemson was fortunate to not be flagged for a false start when right tackle Landon Walker perhaps flinched before the snap on fourth-and-1 from the Miami 36 with 1:02 left. Harper rushed for 2 yards to prolong the game-tying drive.

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