Based on what trainer Danny Poole and his staff have reported to Dabo Swinney, the Clemson head coach expects Trevor Lawrence to be at practice when the fourth-ranked Tigers begin preparation for Wake Forest on Monday.
Lawrence of course was injured late in the second quarter on Saturday when he took a hit to the head from Syracuse safety Evan Foster. The freshman, who was making his first career start, left the field on his own and was later taken into the locker room for more evaluation.
He was ruled out of the game at the start of the second half, and afterward Swinney said he was placed in concussion protocol.
“He was actually really good after the game and he was very good this morning,” Swinney said Sunday during his weekly teleconference with the media. “He felt great. I think they were very encouraged by what they saw, so they are going to continue to evaluate him. Hopefully, we will see.
“We will go with what we got and hopefully they put him back in practice, and based on what they said, that is what I expect. That is all up to those guys.”
If Lawrence is back at practice on Monday, one of the things the coaches will coach him up on is making sure he protects himself when he runs and scrambles. With just two quarterbacks on the roster with game experience, it will be imperative that Lawrence stays healthy if the Tigers want to make a run at another national championship.
On the play in which he was injured, Swinney would have liked to have seen Lawrence throw the ball away in that situation.
“We had a nice clean pocket and I believe John (Simpson) kind of got on the side of his guy and kind of flushed him out to the left. He was just trying to escape,” Swinney said. “But, there was a point there where he could have just thrown it away. That’s one.”
The other point Swinney says is not be out of control when diving. Lawrence decided to run the football but lost his balance and tried to dive to get extra yards when Evans came in and hit him.
At that point, Swinney said the biggest concern was Lawrence’s neck because of the way he fell into the tackle.
“It was kind of a real neck strain in how he got hit in his neck,” Swinney said. “I definitely feel like he could have gotten ride of the ball. He will learn from it as he continues to play.”
Lawrence finished the 10-of-15 for 93 yards and no touchdowns.