Update: Oct. 2 – 12:15 p.m.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday that he fully expects quarterback Trevor Lawrence to return to action on Saturday vs. Wake Forest. Lawrence was a full participant in practice on Monday night.
“I definitely expect to see him play. That’s why we put him back in practice last night. I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t,” Swinney said.
Original story: Oct. 1 – 12:50 p.m.
Trevor Lawrence may not be out very long.
The Clemson quarterback took a hard hit to the head in Saturday’s win over Syracuse, but Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said the outlook for Lawrence is positive.
Swinney told reporters Sunday that he expects to see Lawrence back in practice this week, but it’s ultimately up to the medical staff.
“He was trying to come back in the game but any time you get something with the head-neck area, there is no room for error there,” Swinney said per Tiger Illustrated.
“He was really good after the game and really good this morning. Felt great. I think they were very encouraged with what they saw. He’ll work out and they’ll continue to reevaluate him. Hopefully they put him back in practice this week. Based on what they said, that’s what I expect. Very encouraging what they’ve told me.”
A Monday update from offensive coordinator Jeff Scott was just as positive for the Tigers:
Jeff Scott says there's a chance Trevor Lawrence could practice tonight. Still in concussion protocol, but sounds like it was more of a neck strain than anything, per med staff.
— A David Hale joint (@DavidHaleESPN) October 1, 2018
Lawrence, making his first career start after being moved up the depth chart in front of Kelly Bryant, was injured in the second quarter while trying to extend a third down play. The shoulder of Syracuse defensive back Evan Foster hit Lawrence in the helmet.
Lawrence was down on the field briefly before being escorted to the locker room. There were fears that Lawrence suffered a concussion on the hit, but Swinney said that the injury was “sort of a neck strain.”
Swinney said Sunday he would have preferred Lawrence throw the ball away on a play like that.
“Trevor was just trying to escape. He could have thrown it away,” Swinney said. “Don’t be out of control diving forward. It was sort of a neck strain in how he got hit. Definitely felt he could have gotten rid of the ball. And he’ll learn that as he continues to play.”
Chase Brice got the job done in Lawrence’s absence
The Tigers trailed 13-7 when Lawrence exited the game, but Chase Brice, thrust into the backup role after Bryant decided to transfer, led the team to a 27-23 come-from-behind victory.
Brice struggled a bit, including an interception, but had a crucial completion on fourth-and-6 from midfield with 2:50 to play. He hit Tee Higgins in stride for a 20-yard gain and a first down. Five plays later, Travis Etienne scored the winning touchdown.
If Lawrence can’t go on Saturday on the road against Wake Forest, Brice will get the start. Swinney was impressed with the redshirt freshman’s “savvy” down the stretch.
“Chase has a really high upside to him. He has proven he can win a game and put a 94-yard drive together if you need him to,” Swinney said.
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