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No. 2 Clemson jumped out to a 30-0 halftime lead over Syracuse, but it lost Deshaun Watson in the process.
Late in the second quarter, Watson took a hard fall onto his throwing shoulder. He stayed in for one more play and threw an incomplete before removing himself from the game.
Here’s the play where the injury occurred:
Heading into halftime, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney told ESPN that Watson believed the injury could be related to a muscle in his shoulder or possibly a stinger. After further evaluation at halftime, the program announced that Watson would be available for the second half, but would not start the third quarter. The injury is being called a bruised shoulder.
Deshaun Watson (bruised shoulder) available to play in the second half, but will not start.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 5, 2016
After Watson left the game, backup Nick Schuessler came in and threw a touchdown pass to Artavis Scott. Schuessler, a senior who has been Clemson’s No. 2 for the past three seasons, then led another touchdown drive to start the second half.
With Schuessler’s experience and the big lead, Clemson likely figured it wouldn’t be worth risking further injury for Watson, a Heisman candidate. Before exiting the game, Watson completed 13-of-16 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 39 yards and a score rushing.
Watson wasn’t the only quarterback injured during the game. Syracuse sophomore Eric Dungey left the game after taking a big hit late in the first quarter.
For more Clemson news, visit TigerIllustrated.com.
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