Gifford Timothy, who's started nearly every game at right tackle since 2012, still has another full season of eligibility remaining.
"He just doesn't feel like he can do it anymore," Swinney said. "His knee is a mess."
The Delaware native has been dealing with an assortment of knee injuries since making his first-career start against Auburn in the Georgia Dome two seasons ago.
"He's been a very good player for us. He's been frustrated big time because his knee just won't let him perform like he wants to perform, and like he's capable of performing," Swinney said.
Timothy is one of several former players to call it a career because of injuries. Before Timothy decided on Friday, offensive lineman Patrick Destefano was the most recent player to end his career. Linebacker Justin Parker and quarterback Tony McNeal have taken similar paths.
Compared to the other three, Timothy, by far, had the most game time experience.
"That's a big loss for us, no question," Swinney said. "When you lose a guy who's still got time left, has been a starter, been a good player, those guys are hard to replace. We appreciate Giff and the great effort he's given to us."
Entering this season, Timothy had 865 snaps in 19 games [11 starts].
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