Xavier Thomas injures foot, Clemson DE out 4-6 weeks

Xavier Thomas, one of the top defensive linemen in the ACC, will miss the next 4-6 weeks. According to reports, Thomas suffered a foot injury over the weekend — during a scrimmage on Saturday.

The Tigers have incredible depth on the defensive side of the ball; however, Thomas is a powerful veteran, who has appeared in 46 games over the last four seasons, including 19 stats.

A Third Team All-ACC selection in 2021, Thomas entered with impressive career numbers: 112 career tackles (27.5 for loss), 12.5 sacks, five pass breakups, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 1,333 snaps. During the 2021 season, Thomas ranked fifth on Clemson’s roster with 5.5 tackles for loss, behind Myles Murphy, Trenton Simpson, Ruke Orhorhoro and KJ Henry.

Clemson’s front four rotation — even sans Thomas for a few weeks — is still loaded. Bryan Bresee, Tyler Davis and Orhorhoro are a power trio at the tackles. Over on the edge, Murphy is one of the best in the country. Without Thomas, Clemson will lean more on veterans like Justin Mascoll and Henry.

The Tigers open up their 2022 schedule in exactly three weeks: Sept. 5 (Monday) in Atlanta vs. Georgia Tech. After a short week, Clemson returns to Death Valley for an in-state matchup with Furman (Sept. 10). Those two games seem like obvious misses for Thomas, given the current timeline.

The following week — Sept. 17 — Clemson hosts Louisiana Tech. However, following that game, the Tigers stare down two pivotal Atlantic Division matchups: at Wake Forest (Sept. 24) and home to NC State (Oct. 1).

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