Uiagalelei isn't dealing with just one injury

Uiagalelei isn't dealing with just one injury

Football

Uiagalelei isn't dealing with just one injury

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D.J. Uiagalelei played more banged up than initially thought against Wake Forest.

Clemson’s quarterback played the previous game and change with that sprained knee he sustained in the first half against Louisville on Nov. 6. He then wore a bulky brace on his right knee while playing the better part of three quarters against Connecticut the next week.

Against the Demon Deacons on Saturday, he also sported a small splint on the index finger of his throwing hand, something he practiced with all week. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Uiagalelei is dealing with “a tendon thing in there that he’s got to keep taped up.”

“He’s battling,” Swinney added. “Nobody is truly healthy this time of year, but I was really proud of him (Saturday). I thought he led us well. He kept them honest in the run game. Had a couple of tough runs and made some big plays for us.”

Despite the injuries, Uiagalelei completed 11 of 19 passes on a day in which Clemson didn’t need much from the passing game. But he completed five of his last six passes and ran eight times for 30 of the Tigers’ season-high 333 rushing yards.

Uiagalelei only ran the ball once against UConn, but Swinney said his quarterback’s knee felt better during the week of practice leading up to Saturday’s game.

Swinney didn’t specify whether the tendon injury in Uiagalelei’s finger will require surgery after the season, but he said his quarterback won’t be fully healthy the rest of the season, which consists of Saturday’s regular-season finale at South Carolina and a bowl game.

“He’s better this week than he was last week, and hopefully he’ll be better next week than he was this past week,” Swinney said. “But it’s going to take him a little while before he can say he’s 100%. That’s for sure.”

Backup Taisun Phommachanh (shoulder) was available for last week’s game but didn’t play.

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