The Clemson Tigers enter the 2020 season as the No. 1 team in the nation, the USA Today Coaches Poll said.

However, Thursday afternoon, Dabo Swinney announced that former 5-star defensive end Xavier Thomas will miss most of the 2020 season after a battle with COVID-19 and strep throat.

Thomas tested positive for the coronavirus this offseason, and it forced him to quarantine. Then, the elite defensive player became ill with strep throat and missed additional workout time.

Therefore, instead of trying to rush Thomas back for the start of 2020, Swinney said Thomas could miss most of the season. With the new redshirt rule, Thomas could play in 4 games and still redshirt this season.

“We are holding him out for medical reasons. Really treating him like an injury. X has probably had more on him than anybody since March,” Swinney said, via Matt Connolly of The State. “He’s just nowhere near where he needs to be to play football.”

That’s a tough loss for Clemson’s talented defense.