Campanaro could return for depleted Wake Forest

Associated Press Modified: October 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm •  Published: October 23, 2012

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest might not have to do more with less for much longer.

Coach Jim Grobe said Tuesday that it's possible that injured receivers Michael Campanaro and Sherman Ragland III could play Thursday night against No. 14 Clemson.

Campanaro led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 38 receptions when he broke his right hand Sept. 29 against Duke. Grobe says Campanaro has been catching tennis balls in practice and says team doctors will decide his status. Ragland missed the Virginia game last week with an abdominal strain.

Neither player was listed on the depth chart released Tuesday, and Grobe says his game plan does not include the pair "because we don't know if we're going to have them or not.

"So the good news is, we're getting some guys healthy, but I think the worst part of that is, we may not know until we get out there Thursday night," he added. "We've got to plan to not have them, and if we have them, it would be a bonus. And if you have them, does that change your thinking? I guess we won't know any more than Clemson does."

Those potential returns come just as the Demon Deacons (4-3, 2-3) were figuring out how to make do with a lineup that has been in a seemingly constant state of flux due to injuries and suspensions.

They've played all year with a makeshift offensive line, saw their defensive statistics balloon when their nose guard missed two early games due to injury and had eight players serve suspensions of varying length for off-field incidents.

"When you have issues with injuries and you're kind of plugging offensive linemen in, you're plugging receivers in, you try to scheme up people so much that you make too many mistakes," Grobe said. "We're almost drawing plays in the dirt now, trying to figure out how, without 'Camp' and Sherman ... you're trying to do it with smoke and mirrors."

After losing tight, turnover-filled games to Duke and Maryland, Wake Forest scraped out a 16-10 victory over Virginia in which it gained just 213 total yards — its fewest in an ACC win since 1966. That kept the Demon Deacons in contention for a second straight bowl berth.

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