Clemson football: QB Kelly Bryant’s status for Friday game unconfirmed

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When Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant left the game Saturday against Wake Forest with an injured left ankle, he looked to be in considerable pain.

After the Tigers wrapped up their 28-14 win, though, both he and coach Dabo Swinney downplayed the severity of his injury. They said it wasn’t too bad, and Bryant said he remained out because he didn’t want to test the possibility of aggravating it for no reason.

On Tuesday, Swinney didn’t offer much clarification.

“He has been good,” he said, per TigerIllustrated.com. “Practiced all day yesterday and moved around well. I was encouraged.”

For Swinney, who can unleash a soliloquy without provocation, to offer such a terse, tight-lipped answer is telling.

So while Clemson coaches likely aren’t saying anything about Bryant’s ability to play on Friday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN) at Syracuse — maybe they will later in the week, who knows — it comes off as a tacit extension of what they said last week: that Bryant should be good to go.

The junior went through a complete practice on Monday, and he apparently didn’t give off the impression he was struggling through it. Bryant didn’t miss a rep, Swinney said.

According to his teammates, he didn’t seem limited either.

“Obviously any time you have any sort of injury, it doesn’t matter what it is, you’re a little cautious,” Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow said on Tuesday, per TheClemsonInsider. “But he looked fine. And for us, it doesn’t matter who goes out there. I know that’s kind of coach talk, but it’s true. Whoever goes out there, we still have the same jobs, and we’re still going to expect them to play their best and play to the standard we play at.”

The second part of what Renfrow said is noteworthy, as well. Clemson’s depth chart was updated this week, most notably at quarterback. Prior to the Wake Forest game, Zerrick Cooper had been listed as the No. 2 quarterback behind Bryant, with Hunter Johnson entrenched as the third-stringer.

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Hunter Johnson impressed against Wake Forest, and he’s listed as the co-backup with Zerrick Cooper now. (Cory Fravel/247Sports)

But when the depth chart came out this week, Cooper and Johnson were both listed as the backup, with an “OR” in between their names. That could have to do with how each performed while Bryant was out last Saturday: Cooper was 2 of 6 passing, while Johnson completed all 5 of his throws — one of which was a touchdown pass.

Renfrow’s statement speaks to the mentality behind this Clemson team. Sure, when Bryant is in, the Tigers have the best shot at winning. But they’re equally confident in the other quarterbacks on the roster. While having Bryant start is obviously the optimal situation, and looks likely for Friday, Clemson isn’t left without a capable replacement.

 

 

The post Clemson football: QB Kelly Bryant’s status for Friday game unconfirmed appeared first on Diehards.

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