Already thin at a critical position, Clemson lost receiver Charone Peake during practice this week to a torn knee ligament, coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday.
Peake tore the ACL during a skeleton drill Tuesday, Swinney said. “Kind of a freaky deal, but that’s usually how those injuries happen, unfortunately.”
A junior from Dorman High in Spartanburg County, Peake can apply to the NCAA for a redshirt to reclaim a lost year of eligibility.
“He hasn’t been redshirted yet, so, hopefully, he can get this year back and be a junior again next year,” Swinney said. “He’s got a great future in front of him.”
Long and athletic, Peake was one of the crown jewels in the 2011 recruiting class that included receivers Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant. In two games this season, he caught eight passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Overall, he has played 29 games, catching 37 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns.
“He was having a good year and was going to have a great year,” Swinney said. “We don’t have great depth at wideout. We’ve got some pretty good players, but we don’t have a lot of depth. We’ve got six guys on scholarship now.”
Peake’s high school teammate, Adam Humphries, will step into the starting lineup, Swinney said, though the loss should necessitate more playing time for redshirt freshman Germone Hopper, who led the team with six catches and two touchdowns in the S.C. State game, as well as freshmen Mike Williams and T.J. Green.
“We’re fortunate to have a guy like Adam to slide into that spot,” Swinney said. “Adam can play anywhere.”
Guard Tyler Shatley (plantar fasciaitis), corner Mackensie Alexander (groin), running back Rod McDowell (concussion) and linebacker B.J. Goodson (concussion) are at various ages of recovery. Shatley should be ready to return to the lineup for the N.C. State game next week, and Swinney anticipated McDowell being cleared by the weekend for contact.
“It won’t be the last bit of adversity we’ll face this season,” he said of Peake’s injury. “We’ll get him well and get him back as soon as we can.”