Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney updated the status of junior wide receiver Justyn Ross following the Tigers’ first scrimmage of the spring on Wednesday.
Swinney told reporters that Ross suffered a minor neck stinger recently but returned to practice Wednesday in a limited capacity.
“He got banged up the other day, and he’s perfectly fine,” Swinney said. “He did all the individual and did all the RVA and all that. But they’re just trying to be precautionary with him because he had kind of some stinger symptoms lingering. Even though he’s fine now, they just want to make sure that there’s no bigger issue or anything like that. So, hopefully when we get back (from spring break), we’ll have more information at that time and he’ll be fine.”
Swinney reiterated that the medical staff is erring on the side of caution with Ross, who is expected to be the No. 1 wideout for Clemson this season following the departure of Tee Higgins to the NFL.
“It was a stinger. It wasn’t really much at all, but he just kind of had a little lingering stinger and then he was fine,” Swinney said. “But any time you have that where it lingers just a little bit, you want to be very precautious, so that’s what our doctors are doing. We’ve been out here today, he’s running full speed and he looks great. But just holding him out of contact and make sure that there’s no other issues.”
Swinney says he does not know at this time whether Ross will be held out of contact for the remainder of spring practice.
“I have no idea. That just depends,” he said. “I have no idea. He looks great to me.”
After tallying 46 receptions for a team-high 1,000 yards with nine touchdowns in 343 snaps across 15 games as a true freshman in 2018, Ross recorded 865 yards receiving and eight touchdowns on a team-high 66 receptions in 586 snaps over 14 games (all starts) in 2019.
While some believe Ross had a down season following a sensational first year with the Tigers that he capped with spectacular performances in both College Football Playoff games – he combined for 12 catches, 301 yards and three touchdowns in those games – Swinney does not think Ross had a sophomore slump at all.
“He had maybe more big plays (in 2018), but sometimes people play you differently, and we had a bunch of games where we didn’t play – just think if he would have played four quarters every game,” Swinney said. “Just go and look at all the games that he didn’t play hardly in the third or fourth quarter, so he did most of that in two quarters of play for the majority of the season. What did we win, 12 games by a bunch of points? So, he had a heck of a year, especially for all the limited play that he had.”
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