CLEMSON – Clemson football junior safety Lannden Zanders had his heart set on a comeback.
His injured shoulder was not in agreement.
"My heart breaks for him," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Friday. "He had a little bit of a setback and, honestly, just mentally and physically didn't feel like he could do it."
Swinney spoke to the media before the first day of preseason practice. Clemson's opening game is Sept. 5 at Georgia Tech.
Zanders played all 14 games as a freshman in 2019, helping the Tigers win the ACC and make it to the national championship game. He's battled injuries since and missed all of last season. He will graduate in December.
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"Tough part of the job and tough part of the game," Swinney said. "But, man, we love Lannden. He's still a part of what we're doing. He just won't be able to run out there and play the game."
Zanders had a difficult chore ahead of him at strong safety even if healthy. He was behind All-ACC sophomore Andrew Mukuba and junior R.J. Mickens on the depth chart.
"It's a big loss because he's another great, experienced player," Swinney said. "But we've got options, obviously, with the guys we have there. We love the guys we brought it. And you've got some guys who can cross-train if we needed them to."
Todd Shanesy covers Clemson athletics for the USA TODAY Network.
This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Dabo Swinney on Clemson DB Lannden Zanders injury: 'My heart breaks'