DANIA BEACH, Fla. — Dabo Swinney is not sure if Clemson cornerback Sheridan Jones will play or not when the seventh-ranked Tigers take on No. 6 Tennessee in the 89th Orange Bowl Classic Friday at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jones did not practice on Wednesday because of a hip flexor. The senior was limited in practice on Tuesday and was wearing a yellow jersey. He was wearing street clothes during Wednesday’s practice.
“Sheridan could come back. He’s been dealing with a hip flexor, so it’s going to be close,” Swinney said during Thursday’s Coaches Press Conference at Le Meridien Conference Center. “He’s one of those guys that’s played a lot.
“He’s got a lot of experience but been battling a little bit. We’ll see.”
The Tigers are already thin at corner with Malcom Greene out for the year due to a groin injury and Fred Davis leaving school and transferring to UCF.
If Jones can’t go, the Tigers will have to defend the nation’s number one offense without him. The Vols lead the nation in scoring (47.3 ppg) and total offense (538.1 ypg). Tennessee also ranks third nationally in passing offense (332.3 ypg).
Jones has already missed three games this year due to injury. He has played in 10 games, starting all 10, and has record 31 tackles with one pass broken up.
As for his future at Clemson, Swinney isn’t sure what Jones is going to do. Though he has classified as a senior, Jones us eligible to return for one more year due to the COVID rule.
“He’s declared this as his senior year all year, but as you know, a lot of these guys have — I guess we’re going to deal with it for a couple more years, I guess, with the COVID year,” Swinney said. “I don’t know if it’s his last time. A lot of guys are going to decide that after the game.”
–photo courtesy of the Orange Bowl