Clemson says Bryant will play, but how effective will he be?

Clemson says Bryant will play, but how effective will he be?

Football

Clemson says Bryant will play, but how effective will he be?

Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant will play on Saturday, according to the school’s official injury report which was released on Thursday night.

However, how effective the junior will be when the seventh-ranked Tigers’ kick the ball off against Georgia Tech at 8 p.m., in Death Valley is still unknown. Bryant was cleared to play in Clemson’s loss to Syracuse on Oct. 13, but it was obvious from the beginning he was not completely healthy.

Bryant, who was averaging 19 carries a game in wins over Auburn, Louisville, Boston College and Virginia Tech, did not attempt a designed run at all against the Orange and instead was dropping back to throw. When co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott did try to roll him out late in the first quarter, it was obvious he could not run the football.

On Monday Bryant said his ankle was anywhere from 80 to 85 percent healed. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his teleconference call with the ACC media on Wednesday that Bryant had taken all the reps this week and has looked good in practice.

“If he can practice and he can do everything we ask our players to do in practice then there should be no reason why he can’t play,” Swinney said.

Bryant originally sprained his left ankle in the Tigers’ win over Wake Forest on Oct. 7. He then suffered a concussion and tweaked his ankle again against Syracuse. The Calhoun Falls, S.C., native was cleared from concussion protocol on Monday.

Fields out. The injury report also listed cornerback Mark Fields out for the game. The junior is listed with a foot injury.

This is the second game Fields has missed this season due to injury. He also missed the Boston College game.

Fields has played in six games this year and has started four, including the last three. He played 71 snaps in the Tigers’ win over Virginia Tech and had a season-high six tackles. He also played 57 snaps at Syracuse and had four tackles.

For the season, Fields has 20 tackles, three tackles for loss and two passes broken up.

Edmond still out. Though he returned to practice for the first time since injuring the top of his foot against Auburn, cornerback Marcus Edmond will miss his sixth straight game.

Swinney said the senior returned to practice this week, wearing a green jersey, which means there are still some things he is not allowed to do in practice. Swinney was hoping Edmond was going to make it back for Saturday’s game.

With Edmond out, and now Fields, Clemson is down to two cornerbacks heading into the Georgia Tech game. Expect Trayvon Mullen to get the start at field corner, along with Ryan Carter at the boundary position.

Amir Trapp will back up Carter, while A.J. Terrell will be Mullen’s backup.

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