Sprained ligaments sideline Bowers

Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, one of the Tigers' top pass rushers, is doubtful for Saturday's key Atlantic Division game against Florida State Seminoles with a sprained MCL and PCL, coach Dabo Swinney said on his weekly Sunday teleconference.

"I would say he's probably doubtful right now for this week," Swinney said. " ... If he's not able to play, that's a big blow to us. There's not many Da'Quan Bowers walking around out there, so it will be a challenge for our other guys to step it up."

Swinney said the backups have played as many snaps as Bowers, and that Malliciah Goodman had his best game on Saturday. Kevin Alexander, who usually plays strongside linebacker, switches back to end in nickel and dime situations.

"[Goodman] will have to step it up along with [Andre] Branch and Kevin Alexander, who are also in that role, too," Swinney said. "All those guys have to step up and replace Da'Quan if he can't play. We've got good depth there and good players, so we'll be OK, you just hate to lose a good one like Da'Quan. I hate it for him, too, I know he would've liked to play in this game. We'll get him back as soon as possible."

Bowers has 36 tackles this season, including eight tackles for loss, three sacks and nine quarterback pressures.

Swinney said he's not sure of the timetable for Bowers' return.

"I hope he's just out this ball game, but you never know," Swinney said. "It could be a couple of games. It could be just one, I don't know. It's hard for me to speculate on that."

Clemson (5-3, 3-2 ACC) controls its own destiny in the Atlantic Division and is seeking its first ACC title since 1991, but Florida State (4-4, 2-3) has resurrected its postseason hopes with back-to-back wins over North Carolina and NC State.

Heather Dinich covers the ACC for ESPN.com.