CLEMSON – Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Monday morning that quarterback Kelly Bryant is making rapid progress after suffering a concussion in Friday night’s 27-24 defeat at Syracuse.
“Kelly has responded well over the weekend,” Swinney said. “They were pretty encouraged with him… after evaluating him again this (Monday) morning.”
Bryant has been in concussion protocol since being knocked out of the game following a hard tackle with 45 seconds left in the first half.
Bryant, who entered Friday's game leading the team in both rushing and passing and averaging 276.6 yards of offense per game, had been questionable for the Syracuse game early last week after suffering an ankle injury against Wake Forest on Oct. 7.
Clemson has a bye week this week and will be on fall break Monday and Tuesday, which should benefit Bryant.
“We hope he’ll be able to practice this week, but he’ll be out today (Monday) and they’re off tomorrow,” Swinney said. “Hopefully by Wednesday he’ll be out there moving around, but we’re going to be really cautious with him this week. Come Wednesday we’ll have a much better feel for what he’s going to be able to do practice-wise. Then they’ll be off for the weekend.”
The timing could hardly be better as the Tigers seek to rebound, both physically and mentally, from just their third defeat in the last 40 games.
“They had Saturday and Sunday off, and that was big because they haven’t had two days off since August,” Swinney said. “This is a chance to hit that reset button.”
After a Monday evening practice the team will participate in a community service project with the Harvest Food Bank on Tuesday before returning to practice Wednesday and Thursday. The team will then be off Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“They should come back with some good spring in their legs,” Swinney said.
The Tigers (6-1, 5-1 in the ACC), who slipped from the No. 2 ranking to No. 7 and No. 8, respectively, in the coaches and Associated Press polls on Sunday, will kick off the final five games of the regular season by hosting Georgia Tech at 8 p.m. on Oct. 28.
Scott Keepfer, The Greenville News