Clemson Tigers star wide receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play this week after returning to the team from serving his two game suspension. Watkins missed Clemson’s first two games against Auburn and Ball State due to his suspension stemming from an offseason drug arrest.
It’s not like the Clemson offense missed him that much while he was gone but it will just be one more weapon at Dabo Swinney’s disposal this week against FCS opponent Furman. While Watkins was suspended the Tigers put up big numbers on offense with De’Andre Hopkins stepping up and more than replacing Watkins’ production.
During his absence Hopkins caught a team record 13 passes against Auburn in week one and scored 3 TDs against Ball State. All in all, Hopkins has 19 receptions for 224 yards and four scores in Clemson’s first two games.
With Watkins coming back Hopkins may see even more passes come his way as the defenses will have to now key on stopping the electric Watkins and not just him. From the start it may take some time to get Watkins back into game shape and get him back to the level he was last year but it will only be a matter of time.
Once he gets back into game shape the Clemson offense has the potential to be one of the most explosive units in the country. They will have Watkins, Hopkins, quarterback Tajh Boyd and running back Andre Ellington who leads the ACC in rushing. We saw what they were capable of in weeks one and two without arguably their best player so they will be hard to stop with him coming back.
Swinney joked with Watkins earlier this week telling him, “We’re 2-0 Sammy. Don’t mess it up.” That’s one thing Clemson will not have to worry about. They will be just fine.