Swinney updates the latest on wide receiver Justyn Ross

by - Senior Writer -
Swinney is hopeful that Ross might be able to play next fall
Swinney is hopeful that Ross might be able to play next fall

Justyn Ross is back at practice and wearing a helmet, but don’t expect Ross to play at any point this season.

Ross tweeted out Tuesday that he was back in a football helmet at practice, and head coach Dabo Swinney told the media following Wednesday’s practice that Ross is ahead of schedule after surgery to repair a congenital fusion condition of his neck and spin.

Ross was one of Clemson's top wideouts for the past two seasons. He led the team with 66 receptions a season ago and finished 2019 with 865 yards and eight touchdowns. His breakout performances in the College Football Playoff as a freshman launched him onto the national stage.

“Ross is grinding,” Swinney said. “Our medical staff has done a wonderful job. He has been with (strength and conditioning coach) Larry Greenlee 1-on-1, just like Mike Williams. Justyn has come so far and he’s got his weight back and he got cleared to lift weights a few weeks ago. This is the first week they are letting him wear a helmet again. Next week he gets to go to another level. He will get to the dress (uniform) of the day and run routes versus air. There will be no contact or anything like that, just indy routes versus air. He is doing great and he is ahead of where the doctor would like for him to be. We have to keep our fingers crossed and hopefully the good Lord will bless us with a good report in December.”

Swinney said that if Ross gets a good report from the doctor in December, the hope is that he will be able to resume some practice in the spring but won’t face contact or tackling until next fall.

“The best case scenario is maybe he will be able to play in the spring, but not be tackled until the fall,” Swinney said.

No. 1 Clemson (4-0) travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech (2-2) at noon Saturday on ABC. The Tigers opened as a 27-point favorite.

Swinney had a few other notes.

*Feel like they have fixed field goal protection issues. Put a lot of work into it and they feel like they will be much improved.

*He heard that Nick Saban had COVID and he feels like Clemson has a good plan. Sends his thoughts and wishes to Coach Saban and he will call him later. But he is sure Saban has a plan, but not sure Saban’s wife has a plan because she is probably not used to having him home during the week.

*If LB Kane Patterson stays the course he will be a heck of a player.

*Wide receiver Joseph Ngata has looked solid. Hopefully he will be ready to go Saturday.

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