One of Clemson’s top defensive players will miss most of the 2020 season, Dabo Swinney announced on Thursday.
Xavier Thomas, a former five-star recruit and projected starter for the Clemson defense, tested positive for COVID-19 during the off-season. The positive test forced him into quarantine. Shortly thereafter, Thomas got strep throat, causing additional missed time.
Rather than attempting to rush Thomas back into action for the Tigers’ 2020 season-opener, Clemson plans to redshirt him this season. The five-star defensive end will be eligible to play in four games.
Swinney clarified Thomas has a long ways to go until he’s ready for on-field action. That certainly indicates Thomas won’t play until late in the 2020 season.
Thomas, or “X” as Swinney calls him, will spend extra time over these next few months getting back up to speed. By the sounds of it, it’s going to be a long process.
“We are holding him out for medical reasons. Really treating him like an injury. X has probably had more on him than anybody since March,” Swinney said, via Matt Connolly of The State. “He’s just nowhere near where he needs to be to play football.”
Clemson star Xavier Thomas will miss most of the 2020 season after a battle with COVID-19, strep throat.
Dabo Swinney: "He’s just nowhere near where he needs to be to play football." https://t.co/mfBtUEp9vN
— Matt Connolly (@MattatTheState) August 6, 2020
Swinney also clarified on Thursday that Xavier Thomas essentially missed from March all the way until June as he battled both COVID-19 and strep throat.
It’ll be interesting to see when Thomas returns this season. In the meantime, the Clemson defense will have to step up this season in his absence.