Clemson starting defensive tackle Bryan Bresee is out for the season with a torn ACL, coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday. The news was better for running back Will Shipley, who is expected back this season.
Both players were hurt in the second half of a 27-21 loss to NC State on Saturday. Swinney said Shipley had a leg injury and could return in three to four weeks. He also said linebacker James Skalski, who left the game with a shoulder injury, was going to be fine, without elaborating further.
The injury to Bresee leaves the Tigers without their two starting defensive tackles. Last week, Clemson announced Tyler Davis would be out two months with a bicep injury.
With a banged-up team sitting at 2-2 and not many answers for a struggling offense, Swinney said now was not the time to panic for the Tigers. But they are in a situation they have not faced in six years, and there is no way to mask the disappointment.
“This program is built on rock,” Swinney said. “It’s built the right way, and we’ll respond. We’re not immune to having bad moments. We’re not entitled to win the league. We’re not entitled to go to the playoff. We’ve got a talented team. We’re not where we thought we would be and there’s not anything we can do about that, other than just keep working.”
He also defended offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, who has been criticized for the offensive struggles.
“There’s nobody I believe in more, trust or respect than Tony Elliott,” Swinney said. “This guy didn’t just forget football. Tony Elliott, he’s special and I’m not really concerned what other people think. I’m here every day. I know who the people are that are involved, I know what the issues are. We’ve been really, really good offensively here for a long time, and people are quick to forget that.
“This has been a tough start for sure. We’ve got a lot of pain, but there’s purpose in the pain. People can splinter or stay together. Tough times bring the best in some people and the worst in others, and you’ve got to find out who’s with you. It’s easy to be all in when everything’s great, but we’ve got to persevere through all this.”