Clemson coach Dabo Swinney announced Saturday following his team's 34-28 win over Boston College that star quarterback Trevor Lawrence will not play when the No. 1 Tigers face No. 4 Notre Dame next week in the biggest ACC game of the season. Lawrence tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
Lawrence said Thursday that he had been experiencing relatively mild COVID-19 symptoms. It remains unconfirmed when those symptoms began for Lawrence. Coupled with ACC isolation protocols and cardiac testing procedures, Lawrence will not be able to complete the protocol in order to cleared to play in time to suit up against Notre Dame on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Below is the ACC protocol for COVID-19.
Pursuant to CDC guidance, a student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 shall be isolated for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms/positive test and at least 1 day (i.e., 24 hours) has passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
"You got the 10 days, but then you have the cardiac part," Swinney said Saturday, via 247Sports. "He won't be able to get through that in time to play."
Swinney also noted that Lawrence is feeling fine and "could go tomorrow" but will remain only joining his teammates on Zoom from isolation until Thursday or Friday.
Five-star freshman D.J. Uiagalelei stood in for Lawrence on Saturday with a brilliant performance in his first career start, completing 30-of-41 passes for 342 yards with three total touchdowns (two passing) with 25 yards rushing. Travis Etienne also starred with two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in the epic comeback win against Boston College.
After next week's clash with Notre Dame the team has a week off before returning to action on Nov. 21 at Florida State. That week off is significant and helpful for Lawrence's return to competition now knowing that he's out for next Saturday.
Now that Swinney has announced Lawrence is officially out, Uiagalelei and Clemson offense turn their attention to preparing for the Fighting Irish. Saturday's experience against Boston College provides a foundation for Tony Elliott and that offensive staff to work with as they plan for a veteran-led Notre Dame defense that held four of its last five opponents under 14 points heading into the weekend.
Uiagalelei and Etienne still make a potent one-two punch in the backfield, and this weekend saw veteran wide receivers Cornell Powell and Amari Rodgers step up with their freshman quarterback in the spotlight.