North Carolina would enter Friday’s contest against NC State without any secondary member Tony Grimes. They had exited their second straight loss without Cam’Ron Kelly. They also had their safety Storm Duck badly banged up. Grimes and Kelly suffered lower-body injuries, while Duck was injured with an upper-body injury. Mark Brown had updated the status of all three defensive backs in the press conference held on Monday.
There are five days before the team faces off against Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. All three defenders would be monitored throughout the entire week before making a final decision on their availability in Charlotte.
These three had combined for 132 tackles, four interceptions, and 17 pass breakups on the season till now. Clemson’s offense had faced their fair share of struggles through the air. So while they are facing off against them, having depth in the secondary would go a long way toward securing a victory for the tigers. If any of the Grimes, Kelly, or Duck would be ruled out for Saturday’s clash, then Lejond Cavazos, Will Hardy, and Marcus Allen would be in contention for the more significant role in the defense.
Ray Vohasek has been ruled out with a nose tackle. Jack Noah Taylor and defensive end Desmond Evans have already been ruled out with season-ending injuries. The Gene Chikiz-led defense can ill afford any more absences in their biggest game of the year.
North Carolina would be playing in their first ACC Championship Game since 2015; they expect a big boost on the defense side of their secondary member; mainly, Duck does suit up against Clemson. Jones had appeared in six games this season.
He had also rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown while Barnes was part of the North Caroline offensive line, which had made great strides since 2021. Chapman would return to the secondary, where they fared 11 total tackles in the four games. They need to have their entire strength squad back as soon as possible.
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