Swinney gives update on when Thomas could return

Swinney gives update on when Thomas could return

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Swinney gives update on when Thomas could return

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Xavier Thomas is getting closer to a return in the Clemson lineup.

Dabo Swinney said during his conference call with the media on Sunday that the plan was for Thomas to dress out and participate with the team during warmups prior to Saturday’s Virginia game. However, a death in the family caused Thomas to miss the ACC’s mandatory COVID-19 testing on Friday, preventing him from being with his teammates on Saturday.

“He got back a couple of hours late. If you missed that test on Friday, it is not like you can go schedule another one,” Swinney said. “That is done by the ACC. They fly in and fly out. Hopefully, he will be back in practice this week.”

Thomas made his way back to the practice fields last week, and even started working with the scout team. Swinney is not sure what game the defensive end will be back for, but he is hopeful it will be soon.

“We worked him on scout team really all week and that is the first time he has really got back into the football aspect of it,” the Clemson coach said. “He is really grinding over there with our strength coaches and medical folks.

“But it was good to see him back out there from a football standpoint. You just can’t simulate that. Hopefully, we will get him rolling back out there this week, but again, we are not sure when he is going to be ready. But whenever he is, he will be a big shot in the arm for us.”

The Tigers’ defensive end has been out all year after he contracted the coronavirus before he was set to return to Clemson in June. Thomas also developed strep throat over the summer.

The two illnesses prevented the All-ACC candidate from working out with his team, as he came into camp still trying to get his strength back. Clemson’s doctors thought it was best at the time to hold him out of fall camp, allowing himself to slowly get back to health and then football shape before returning to regular practice.

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