TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher says he expects to have a pair of injured starters available for Saturday’s game at Wake Forest.
Wide receiver Auden Tate and linebacker Matthew Thomas were injured last week in a loss to North Carolina State and were considered “day-to-day” by Fisher at the beginning of the week. Both players though returned to practice on Tuesday and practiced the rest of the week according to Fisher.
Tate’s return would be welcome news for the offense. The junior leads the team in receptions (11) and yards (179) along with accounting for both Seminoles’ touchdowns in their first two games.
Tate suffered a separated AC joint in his left shoulder after coming down with a 51-yard reception during the third quarter of a 27-21 loss to the Wolfpack.
“He’s a difference maker. From a leadership point, experience point, there are so many different things,” said Fisher about Tate. “Auden is a big guy and can play over the top, but he’s really polished his game underneath for his routes and his body size.”
Thomas left during the first half due to a back injury. The senior is the FSU’s returning tackler from last season and led the defense with 10 tackles in the Sept. 2 opener against Alabama.
If Thomas was unable to go, the Seminoles would be thin at linebacker. Senior Jacob Pugh will miss the first half of Saturday’s game after being ejected for targeting during the second half of last week’s game.
Florida State, which is 0-2 for the first time since 1989, is 0-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play for the second straight season. It has defeated the Demon Deacons (4-0, 1-0) four straight seasons but the Seminoles are 6-5 in conference games since winning 28 straight from 2012 to 2015.