No. 1 Clemson will be without linebacker James Skalski and defensive tackle Tyler Davis for Saturday's noon game against Syracuse, according to Clemson's official availability report.
Both Tigers are starters for the Brent Venables defense, and there was no indication earlier in the week that either would be out. Davis did miss time earlier in the season when he suffered a knee injury in Week 1 at Wake Forest.
In 2020, Clemson, which is a 46-point favorite over Syracuse, is only listing players as "available" or "unavailable" because of COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, so why Skalski and Davis are out is unknown.
According to the official depth chart, Skalski, a team leader who's third on the roster with 20 tackles this season, will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by Jake Venables, who's fourth on the team in tackles.
What Clemson will miss is Skalski quarterbacking the defense and getting everyone lined up. The good news for the Tigers is that the Orange rank 68th in scoring offense and 74th in rushing offense out of 77 teams.
Davis' backup listed on the depth is Tré Williams, who is also out today. Clemson still has plenty of depth at the position, though, and will likely slide Nyles Pinckney, Bryan Bresee or Jordan Williams over to Davis' spot. Williams played well when Davis was out last time.
Still, it's a big loss. Clemson has been able to get pressure in the backfield the last two games because of Davis' ability to put the pocket around. He has four tackles, two tackles for a loss and one sack on the season.
Other Clemson players who are unavailable for the Syracuse game include: TE Sage Ennis, DE Justin Foster, RB Ty Lucas, OL Mitchell Mayes, LB Matt McMahan, DT Ruke Orhorhoro, TE Luke Price, WR Justyn Ross and QB James Talton.
Check back later to AllClemson for postgame updates on players who are out.