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Swinney says Watson is fine

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There is no need to worry. Deshaun Watson is fine.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said his star quarterback, who suffered a bruised shoulder in last week’s win over Syracuse, practiced every rep on Wednesday and will be ready to go when No. 2 Clemson takes on Pitt this Saturday (3:30 p.m.) in Death Valley.

Swinney did confirm after Wednesday’s practice that Watson did have an MRI on his right (throwing) shoulder and that he is okay.

“He wanted to make sure he got it checked because he had a little stinger in there, but he was fine,” the Clemson coach said.

Because he has a lite class load this semester, Watson has been able to rehab his shoulder two or three times every day this week. All of that rehab seems to be paying off.

“He has looked great,” Swinney said. “He was ripping it out there today. He looked fine. We were cautious with him on Monday. We did not do anything. On Tuesday, we put him back in there and he did some (stuff), and then today he did everything.”

Swinney indicated there was no need for anyone to worry about Watson’s shoulder. When asked how it compared to former Clemson quarterback Willy Korn’s injured shoulder in 2008, Swinney laughed it off. He indicated Watson is not even close to being in the pain Korn was in, and the shoulder does not bother him—physically or mentally—when he throws the football.

“Willy had … that was major surgery. This is not in the same conversation,” Swinney said.

Fruhmorgen will not be with the team on Saturday. Swinney said right tackle Jake Fruhmorgen will not be with the team when the Tigers play Pittsburgh. He said the sophomore is going through some personal issues and he needed some time away from the team.

Swinney made it clear Fruhmorgen is not in any trouble with the team, and that this is clearly a personal issue.

“You can’t have a more model player than Jake Fruhmorgen. He is as committed a guy that I have ever been around,” Swinney said. “He is one of the hardest working guys I have ever been around. He is talented. He is the model of what you want from a player. This has nothing to do with anything he has done or anything like that.

“Sometimes we all forget they are young people and young people from time-to-time have issues come up in their personal life that can kind of get them off center a little bit and rock their world. He is dealing with a personal issue that is between him and his family and that is really all I can say about it.”

Fruhmorgen’s parents have come up from Tampa to try and help him get through his ordeal. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound right tackle has started eight of the Tigers’ nine games this season. He did not start in the Syracuse game due to a shoulder injury that held him out.

“We will try to help him as much as we can and try to love him through it,” Swinney said.

Freshman Sean Pollard will get the start at right tackle on Saturday, his second straight, while Tremayne Anchrum will back him up. Swinney is hopeful Fruhmorgen can rejoin the team next week.

Other injury notes: Swinney listed wide receivers Ray Ray McCloud (ankle) and Cornell Powell (hamstring) probable for Saturday’s game, as well as defensive backs Marcus Edmond (toe) and Denzel Johnson (groin).

“Ray Ray looked good out there. Cornell is still kind of grinding his way back. Denzel took his reps today. Pretty much everybody is back,” Swinney said.

Swinney said Powell is not quite hundred percent, but he is doing better. The freshman did all the reps on Wednesday.

“He is still working his way back. He is getting stronger. He is doing rehab twice a day,” the Clemson coach said.

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