CLEMSON, S.C. — Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was a full participant in Monday’s practice, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, and the freshman is expected to start Saturday’s game against Wake Forest after going through concussion protocol following a hit against Syracuse last week.
“I definitely expect him to play,” Swinney said. “I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t.”
Lawrence left last week’s game late in the second quarter after being hit in the shoulder and head on a scramble along the sideline. He was immediately examined in the medical tent, then retreated to the locker room before halftime.
Swinney said Lawrence wanted to return to action, but team doctors couldn’t discount the potential of a concussion at the time. By Sunday, however, it seemed apparent it was primarily a neck injury rather than a concussion, Swinney said.
“He got the crap knocked out of him,” Swinney said. “It was head and neck. He had some pain, and you get put in concussion protocol with anything that creates a symptom. That’s not something you mess with.”
The injury came in Lawrence’s first start, which was also Clemson’s first game without senior quarterback Kelly Bryant, who had announced his intent to transfer just days earlier after he was demoted. That left Chase Brice, a redshirt freshman, to finish out the game, which Clemson won in come-from-behind fashion.
Swinney said he has talked to Lawrence about avoiding similar hits moving forward.
“We run our quarterbacks. That’s what we do,” Swinney said. “But you’ve got to be smart. That wasn’t very smart. I love his effort, but there’s a time for that and a time to live for another play.”