Clemson offensive guard Barry Humphries is out for the rest of the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in practice on Thursday, the school announced. Humphries was expected to start on Nov. 1 at Boston College.
Humphries, a redshirt junior, had played in just two games so far this year due to an injury to the same knee, but he was one of the more experienced players on a line desperate for help. Through seven games this year, Clemson has had eight different starters miss 26 combined games due to injury. Four different offensive linemen have missed playing time at one time or another due to injury, leading to five different offensive line starting combinations in the first seven games.
The problems up front have been a major reason for Clemson's disappointing 3-4 season.
Humphries started in the season opener against Alabama, but partially tore his ACL on the 19th play of the game. He missed the next five games, but returned to the lineup last weekend in the loss to Georgia Tech. Humphries played 23 snaps and had six knockdown blocks, all in the second half.
"Barry Humphries really played well against Georgia Tech last week," interim head coach Dabo Swinney told reporters after practice. "He was giving it his all in practice because he wanted to test it. But, it unfortunately gave out."
Swinney said he hopes to get David Smith back in the lineup at guard. He has missed the last three games due to a high ankle sprain.
Last year, the Tigers had just three starters, regardless of position, miss a combined seven games due to injury.
Humphries started seven games at center or guard in 2007 when he helped the Tigers to a 9-4 record and a first-place ranking in the ACC in scoring offense. He was second on the 2007 team in knockdown blocks with 86.5.
Heather Dinich is a college football reporter for ESPN.com.