April 20, 2018 Atlanta - A Georgia Tech cheerleader waves a school flag at the spring game at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Injuries may sap Georgia Tech’s depth on offensive line

Georgia Tech’s attempt to upset No. 3 Clemson may be more difficult than initially anticipated. Coach Paul Johnson indicated Tuesday that offensive linemen Will Bryan and Andrew Marshall may not play against the Tigers due to injury. Bryan missed last Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh with a lower-body injury, and Marshall left the game and did not return with a lower-body injury.

Responding to a question about their value to the team after missing playing time against Pitt, Johnson responded, “It would mean a lot if they’re healthy.”

Asked later if he expected them to play Saturday, Johnson answered, “I don’t know.”

Johnson had said on Sunday that he expected both to be ready to play against Clemson.

Both are versatile players with knowledge and experience in the offense. Bryan has 25 career starts to his credit and Marshall has 12. Brad Morgan started in place of Bryan and Marshall was replaced by Bailey Ivemeyer.

Against the Tigers, Tech could use as many capable offensive linemen as possible. The Clemson defensive line of ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins is touted as possibly the best line in college football history.

Against that line, “the challenge becomes just trying to find a way to block ’em or read ’em to get to the second level,” Johnson said. “But hopefully with the nature of what we do, we won’t have to block all those guys and maybe we’ll be able to double some of them.”

Johnson said he expected lineman Kenny Cooper to play more after playing in his first game of the season Saturday. Cooper returned from a foot injury suffered in spring practice and played about 12 snaps.

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