Justyn Ross’ recovery from spinal surgery continues to go well.
A week after he was allowed to put on a helmet for the first time since having surgery this past June, the Clemson wide receiver has worked the last two days in full pads.
“It was awesome. So, he was full pads yesterday and today,” head coach Dabo Swinney reported after Wednesday’s practice from the Allen Reeves Football Facility in Clemson. “And he did all of our individual and all of our receiver work. All of routes vs. air. Man, you forget how special he is.”
Swinney said Ross looks like his old self running routes and catching passes, while wowing the coaching staff.
“It was just amazing,” the coach said. “He ran a double move out there today… His ability to plant, cut and change direction, his hips are … it was just awesome to see because he is violent when he cuts. I did not see any hesitation in him at all.
“You would never know in a million years what he has been dealing with. So, I am just really, really happy for him.”
Swinney said last week, they do not expect to see Ross catching any passes in 2020, at least that is the way he has interpreted the situation. When asked, Swinney confirmed the plan is to still have him ready to practice in the spring, similar to the way they did Mike Williams after he had neck surgery after fracturing part of his neck in the first game of the 2015 season.
After undergoing an X-ray last spring that looked at his back and spine following an injury in March, Ross learned he had a congenital fusion, which was something he was born with. The doctors also discovered he had a bulging disk, which only aggravated the situation.
Ross experienced stinger-like symptoms and numbness after catching a pass and being hit during a spring practice. He was slow to get up and ended up missing the remaining few practices of the spring.
Clemson’s top returning receiver from a year ago, had surgery in Pittsburgh this past June. One of the country’s top neurosurgeons, Dr. David Okonkwo, is the neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Ross is scheduled to meet with Dr. Okonkwo again in early December.
“I know (Ross) was a little sore today because he has not worn shoulder pads in a long time,” Swinney said. “I am really happy for him and just hopeful the good lord will bless him with some good news.”
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