The Clemson Tigers will have to go the rest of the way without wide receiver Charone Peake.
The junior left practice Tuesday after suffering an apparent knee injury during a non-contact drill. On Wednesday, an MRI revealed that he had torn his ACL and will require surgery via the Associated Press.
Peake was the second-leading receiver for the No. 3-ranked Tigers with eight catches for 84 yards.
After snagging 25 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in his sophomore year in 2012, the Moore, S.C., product was expected to play a key part in Clemson’s offense this season. He was even named to the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award that goes to the top receiver in college football.
“This is a big loss, Charone was having a great year and was going to have a great year,” Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney said in a prepared statement, according to ESPN.com’s Heather Dinich. “We are thin at receiver with just six scholarship players now. We like to carry 10 at the position. We have good players, but we don’t have a lot of bodies.”
Peake’s Dorman High School teammate Adam Humphries is expected to replace him. Humphries has seven catches for 53 yards this season.
Freshmen T.J. Green and Mike Williams will also get extended looks.
Luckily for Clemson, it has a week off to sort things out with the Tigers' next game on Sept. 19 at North Carolina State.
Swinney will push for a medical redshirt designation for Peake since he has yet to sit out a season.
After practice on Wednesday, the head coach only had positive things to say about his wide receiver, via Brandon Rink of Orangeandwhite.com:
He’s got a great future in front of him and he has plenty of people on this team that have gone through the same thing who have been just fine. It’s always tough for a young person to come to grips with something like that and they can’t play because that’s what they love to do.
Peake is already the third player to go down with an ACL injury for the Tigers this year. Junior tight end Sam Cooper and redshirt freshman quarterback Chad Kelly both suffered injuries during the Orange-White spring game.
Prior to the announcement, Peake had played in 29 consecutive games for Clemson.