Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott expects quarterback Kelly Bryant to be healthy and be back in the lineup when the No. 8 Tigers take on Georgia Tech on Oct. 28 in Death Valley.
Bryant missed Monday’s practice due to the concussion protocol procedure, but the coaches are hopeful he will be able to practice when the Tigers get back to work on Wednesday. Clemson did not practice on Tuesday as they instead held their yearly community service project at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility.
Bryant is also smarting from an ankle injury he originally suffered in the Wake Forest game on Oct. 7 and tweaked in last week’s loss to Syracuse. The junior left the game in the second quarter because of the concussion he suffered after being slammed to the Carrier Dome Turf on a quarterback scramble.
Zerrick Cooper came off the bench and finished the game for the Tigers.
“We expect Kelly to be healthy and be back,” Scott said. “I thought Zerrick did a good job. Getting thrown in that situation, with the game on the line and playing an entire half. He did a lot of good things so he made some mistakes. That is something he will learn from and Hunter (Johnson) is right there.”
Scott said Johnson, who was 5-for-5 off the bench when Bryant went out against Wake, will get his opportunity when the time is right.
“He has been doing a better job in practice so hopefully they don’t have to come in the situation when Kelly is injured like the other day, but hopefully we get those guys some more experience as it goes,” Scott said.
Since Bryant did not practice on Monday, Cooper and Johnson shared first-team reps. If Bryant can’t go on Wednesday the plan will stay the same.
“They have kind of been rolling, just like they have been whenever Kelly is there with that second group,” Scott said. “Zerrick and Hunter have really been rolling with whoever gets that next group. If Kelly is out at all this week then I’m sure those guys will continue to roll and they did yesterday.”
Just in case Cooper and Johnson do have to come back in against Georgia Tech or at any other point this season, Scott will like to see the two freshmen continue to improve on their decision making and just be more consistent.
“The game has evolved,” Scott said. “Now you have a lot of run-pass options, so on every play there are about three or four potential decisions a player has to make and be able to make those as quickly as possible and be able to make the right decisions.
“We get challenged on our practice field here. That will continue to come just like any young player as they develop.”