The injury plague on the Georgia Tech offensive line continues, but the group has received a significant returnee.
Offensive tackle Chase Roberts is highly unlikely to play in Saturday’s game against Alabama A&M and possibly longer. However, offensive tackle Ray Beno returned from a four-game absence due to a foot injury to play in the Clemson game and figures to start at one of the tackle spots Saturday.
Beno, who has 31 career starts, said his foot felt fine on Monday after playing 12 offensive snaps against the Tigers last week.
“A little sore, but nothing I’m complaining about,” he said. “I’m ready to just get back out there and contribute more than I did on Thursday.”
Roberts appeared to suffer a head injury against Clemson and had to be walked off the field. Coach Paul Johnson did not specify the injury but called it “pretty significant.” Offensive line coach Mike Sewak said that “all indications are he’s recovering.”
Roberts, a redshirt freshman, started the past four games at right tackle and had been showing improvement. With him out of the lineup, Beno could slide back in at left tackle and move Will Jackson back to left guard. Bryan Chamberlain could replace Rogers at right tackle. Jackson could also be an option at right tackle, leaving Trey Braun at left guard.
Beno’s return could give a boost to a line battered by injuries.
“I would definitely say that I feel 100 times better than I did last year (at this time),” he said.
Clemson review: Poor blocking was at the heart of the offense’s ineffectiveness against Clemson, when the Jackets went three-and-out in the first three series of the game and four-and-out on the fourth, enabling the Tigers to take a 20-0 lead.
“When we’re really most successful, we have a lot of people on the ground,” Johnson said, referring to cut blocks. “We didn’t get very many people on the ground Thursday night, inside or perimeter.”
Said Sewak, particularly of first-year starters Trey Braun and Roberts, “I thought that they got their tail feathers burned, but I don’t think they backed down.”
Johnson said that quarterback Vad Lee (12 carries, 22 yards) could have done a better job running the ball, “but we’ve got to do a good job of sealing it so he can get downhill better, too. It’s a catch-22. It’s not all him.”
Attaochu invite: Defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu has accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl, the premier pre-draft all-star game. He will be the first Tech player to participate since Anthony Allen after the 2010 season.
“He plays hard, he goes 100 miles an hour and I couldn’t be prouder for him,” Johnson said. “He’s earned everything he gets.”
Draft expert Tony Pauline said that Attaochu projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, which was his position for the past three seasons, and figures to be a mid-round pick, but could move up with a strong performance at the NFL draft combine.
Attaochu has 27 career sacks, four shy of the school record of 31 held by Greg Gathers and tied for 13th in ACC history.
Etc.: Johnson did not have injury updates for players hurt against Clemson. Besides Roberts, linebacker Brandon Watts, long snapper Sean Tobin and A-back Charles Perkins all left the game with injuries. “I don’t have any idea,” Johnson said following Monday’s practice. “Saturday’s (next game is) a long way away from now.” … The Tech-Georgia game Nov. 30 has been set for 3:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.