It didn’t take long for LSU to introduce its defense to Clemson’s high-powered offense in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. It also didn’t take long for Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins to feel the pain of that defense.
On Clemson’s first play from scrimmage, Watkins received a punishing hit from Barkevious Mingo and fumbled the ball. LSU’s Craig Loston recovered at the Clemson 24. The Tigers (of LSU) scored two plays later on a Jeremy Hill touchdown.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Watkins was down on the ground and was unable to put any weight on his right leg. While there’s no official news yet on his status, it doesn’t look like he’ll return this evening.
It would be a disappointing end to what has been a bit of a tough season for Watkins, at least by his freshman All-American standards. Watkins has 708 yards receiving, but just three touchdowns. He was suspended the first two games of the season because of an off-the-field drug incident and missed another game because of an illness.
Clemson looks like it’s found some offensive rhythm even without Watkins. On the very next drive, Clemson drove 75 yards, scoring on an 11-yard run from quarterback Tajh Boyd. The good thing for Clemson is that Watkins was not the biggest player for the offense this year. That’s not to downplay any potential loss, but this team can win without Watkins.
The game is currently tied at seven.