Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said on Sunday that quarterback Deshaun Watson should be back at practice in the early part of this coming week.
“He looked good today,” Swinney said during his weekly teleconference call with the media. “We will get him some treatment today and tomorrow and then get him back in practice the early part of the week.”
Watson left Saturday’s 54-0 victory over Syracuse after going down on his throwing shoulder following a 13-yard run late in the second quarter. He did not return, though Swinney said he could have played if he was needed.
Watson was diagnosed with a bruise shoulder after the game.
“It all happened at once. It happened fast. It’s one of those plays where I got tackled and landed on it wrong. It is nothing serious,” he said.
Swinney says Watson has received all the test and exams he will have on the shoulder.
“They have already checked everything on Deshaun and all of that stuff,” the Clemson coach said. “It’s just a matter of him getting back in there and rolling. He was ready to go in the second half, but fortunately we were able to hold him.”
Before getting injured, Watson was off to his best start in any game this season. He completed 13-of-16 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 39 more yards and a touchdown. One of his touchdown passes was a 65-yard bomb to Deon Cain, the Tigers’ longest play of the year.
For the season Watson is completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 2,497 yards. He has thrown 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions.
McCloud injury. Swinney also updated the status of wide receiver Ray Ray McCloud. The sophomore was held out of Saturday’s game against Syracuse due to an ankle injury to his right foot, which he suffered in the win over Florida State on Oct. 29.
The Clemson coach said they should get McCloud back when they play Pittsburgh this Saturday in Death Valley. That game is set to kick at 3:30 p.m., and will be broadcast locally by ABC and nationally on ESPN2.
Fruhmorgen injury. Watson isn’t the only offensive player with a banged up shoulder. Clemson held right tackle Jake Fruhmorgen out of Saturday’s game against Syracuse due to a shoulder injury.
Swinney said on Sunday they will reevaluate Fruhmorgen’s condition after they see what he can do in Tuesday’s practice. That’s the day the Tigers put back on the full pads.
Other injury news. Freshman wide receiver Cornell Powell tweaked his hamstring according to Swinney, while reserve defensive back Denzel Johnson tweaked his groin. Swinney did not give an indication on when those two might be back.
Reserve linebacker Chad Smith was also dinged up in the Syracuse game, but Swinney thinks he will be fine and will be ready to go. Swinney did not say what the injury was to Smith.
Defensive back Marcus Edmond was held out of the Syracuse game due to a turf toe injury he suffered at Florida State. Swinney said they felt it was best to leave him out and let him rest his toe.
“We were going to play him if we needed to, but we held him so he could get that toe one hundred percent,” Swinney said.
Players of the Game. Swinney said backup quarterback Nick Schuessler was the offensive player of the game by the Clemson coaches after he came off the bench for an injured Watson and threw for 177 yards and two scores while completing 11-of-17 passes.
Anyone on defense that graded out a winner and played 10 snaps was awarded with defensive player of the week honors. The Clemson defense recorded their second shutout of the season and held a Syracuse offense that was averaging 486.8 yards a game coming in to 277 total yards.
Safety Tanner Muse, who returned a fourth-quarter interception 64-yards for a touchdown, was named the special teams player of the game after he recorded three tackles on special teams. Muse’s interception return was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays from Saturday.