THE LATEST: Clemson has injury woes before title game

BY foxsports • January 11, 2016

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The latest developments from the College Football Playoff national championship game between Clemson and Alabama (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

There's still more than an hour before kickoff, but Clemson already has problems with its defense. As in injuries.

Top cover man Mackensie Alexander and All-American defensive end Shaq Lawson will be game time decisions - Alexander with a hamstring issue and Lawson with a sprained left knee.

The loss of either could be a huge blow to Clemson's national title hopes when it takes on Alabama at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Alexander, among the top cornerbacks in the nation, would be matched against Alabama's star receiver Calvin Ridley.

Lawson is a standout pass rusher with 10 1/2 sacks, and is being counted on to help deal with Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry.

Both players were injured in Clemson's Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma.

5 p.m.

The retractable roof at University of Phoenix Stadium will remain closed for Monday night's national championship game between Alabama and Clemson.

This is not a huge surprise, but the weather outside the stadium is sunny with temperatures in the 60s - at least 90 minutes or so before the opening kickoff.

A College Football Playoff spokesman said consistency is the reason the roof is closed. It's still winter in the desert, and weather conditions could change as the game progresses. Over the past few days, it's been chilly and rainy.

The roof is rarely open for Arizona Cardinals games, but was open for last year's Super Bowl when New England beat Seattle.

Outside the stadium, the parking lots were filling up with a Clemson orange tinge more prominent than Alabama crimson.

Inside, with the crowd beginning to file in, it's looking like way more orange than crimson.

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AP College Football website: collegefootball.ap.org


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