Swinney does not exactly close the door on Ross’ return

Swinney does not exactly close the door on Ross’ return

Football

Swinney does not exactly close the door on Ross’ return

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BLACKSBURG, Va. — During Clemson’s 45-10 victory over Virginia Tech, Chris Fowler, who was calling Saturday night’s game for ABC, spoke about the possibility of Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross being back for the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 19.

Fowler even mentioned there are 11 days from Ross’ doctor visit to the ACC Championship in Charlotte. Ross, who has been out since having spinal surgery in June, is scheduled to meet with his neurosurgeon, Dr. David Okonkwo, in Pittsburgh this week to discuss his football future.

When asked about Fowler’s comments in his post-game press conference, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney tried to laugh it off. However, though he tried, Swinney did not exactly dismiss the notion entirely.

“Hey, maybe he knows something I don’t know,” Swinney said with a laugh. “That would be awesome. Sign me up. Sign me up. Maybe he has had a Snapchat with Dr. Okonkwo up there in Pittsburgh. I don’t think that is the case. Sign me up. That would be awesome.”

It is not a far-fetched idea.

In October, Ross was given the green light to practice and has been practicing ever since. After practice on Oct. 21, Swinney reported the Clemson receiver was in full pads, “And he did all of our individual and all of our receiver work. All of routes versus air. Man, you forget how special he is.”

Ross has not participated in full contact drills, but the fact he is already back out on the field and practicing as much as they will allow him to, is a good sign for his future.

And though he had an opportunity to completely close the door on a Ross return this postseason for the third-ranked Tigers, Swinney left the door cracked on Saturday night.

“We are just hoping that they will clear him to play football,” the Clemson head coach said. “I don’t have any expectation that he would be able to play this year. He thinks he can play. It won’t be because Justyn doesn’t want to play. That is for sure.

“But I am excited about him having his appointment this week. I hope everybody will keep him in their prayers because this will be a big week for him as he goes up to Pittsburgh and kind of gets the next steps for him. We are just really praying for the best.”

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