After playing in one of the most physical games of the year, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney felt it was best to give his team some time to heal.
Following their 29-23 victory over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl last Saturday, Swinney gave the Tigers Monday and Tuesday off completely and just had them attend meetings on Wednesday. The Clemson coach is hopeful the rest will help his players be ready to go when they play LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Clemson (14-0) will return to practice on Thursday.
“We gave them off Monday and Tuesday. They were completely off, the players. So, a couple of days to just rest and recover,” Swinney said on ESPN’s Championship Drive Show Wednesday. “They have been over here doing some prehab type stuff that they always do, taking care of their bodies.”
In the Ohio State game, several Tigers got banged up. Wide receiver Tee Higgins was injured on the first drive of the game and missed most of the first half. He returned at the start of the second half. Receiver Justyn Ross got banged up a few times, including his shoulder, neck and hamstring and he returned to the game each time.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence banged up his left shoulder and returned. Left guard John Simpson hurt his ankle and came back, while linebackers Chad Smith and James Skalski also got nicked up during the third quarter and both came back in.
Swinney said the team was really sore on Sunday and was as beat up as the Tigers have been in quite sometime. So, it was very important to give them some rest.
“So, they really had Monday, Tuesday and today off… So just the biggest thing is just giving them some time to rest. It was an unbelievable game, physical game, but we will be excited to get back going and really to see them for the first time.”
Clemson and LSU will meet in New Orleans on Jan. 13 from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome at 8 p.m., ET.
Clemson is going back to the national championship game after once again winning the Fiesta Bowl over Ohio State. Get your official national championship and Fiesta Bowl champs gear right here!