Barely covered: Tigers' battered secondary perilously thin for WF game

Dabo Swinney: 'We're in dire straits right now as far as if we were to get somebody else injured'

Xavier Brewer runs after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter

Photo by Mark Crammer

Xavier Brewer runs after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter

Enough to cover, but just barely.

As he surveys his team's personnel possibilities in the defensive secondary, Dabo Swinney sees his Tigers as perilously thin, stretched to the limit by a season's worth of accumulated injuries.

First Martin Jenkins, and now Darius Robinson and special teams regular Jerrodd Williams, have gone down with season-ending injuries. Bashaud Breeland will miss at least the Wake Forest game with an abdominal injury

Garry Peters has gone from seldom-used reserve to mainstay starter, and Cortez Davis may be about to follow the same path.

Jonathan Meeks and Rashard Hall give the Tigers some stability at the safety spots, and cross-trained Xavier Brewer and Travis Blanks some flexibility.

"We're in dire straits right now as far as if we were to get somebody else injured," said Swinney on Wednesday during the ACC coaches' teleconference. "If everybody stays healthy, with the guys we got, we'll be okay. Get another injury, we'll have to start looking at all options."

For Swinney and his defensive coaches, 'all options' includes the possibility that wide receiver Adam Humphries - who received most of his recruiting attention as a defensive back - could play in the secondary against Wake Forest.

"Adam is one of our best wideouts, but he's played a lot of DB in his background as well, we worked him a little bit this week as an emergency situation," Swinney said. "He certainly understands DB, played his whole (high school) career, but we'll just have to keep it simple in what we ask him to do. No doubt athletically he can get the job done. "

More on-field work for Davis is almost a certainty.

"A guy like Cortez, he's been getting better, but has not gotten a lot of reps because there have been a couple of guys in front of him," said Swinney. "He's getting a lot of practice time. That's really what he needs to improve. He needs a lot of reps - and we're able to give those to him.

"You could see a guy like him get an opportunity here pretty soon. "

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