Star Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who many expect to be the first selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, has tested positive for COVID-19. He will not play in Saturday’s game against Boston College.
Coach Dabo Swinney announced on Thursday night that Lawrence had contracted the virus. Lawrence confirmed with a Twitter post saying his symptoms were mild.
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) October 30, 2020
Lawrence was tested on Wednesday and received his positive result on Thursday, upon which he entered isolation. Since he tested negative after Saturday’s game, contact tracing from the game is not necessary.
ESPN’s Heather Dinich explains the ACC’s protocol, which will require Lawrence to isolate for 10 days and pass a cardiac screening to be cleared.
What’s next for Clemson without Lawrence?
The loss of Lawrence is a significant one for the Tigers. Through six games, he has 1,833 passing yards and 17 touchdowns to just two interceptions.
Clemson faces a 4-2 Boston College team this weekend that has improved in Year 1 under Jeff Hafley. Without Lawrence, that game could be a challenge. But the real concern is what happens if he isn’t able to go for next week’s game against No. 4 Notre Dame.
Dr. Myron Rolle, a former NFL safety who became a physician after his playing career, said he thinks it’s unlikely Lawrence returns for that game.
The Tigers could perhaps be without the best player in the country for their biggest game of the year. Fortunately, no players have quarantined as a result of contact with Lawrence. So as of now, the ACC has no plans to cancel or postpone either game.
Meet D.J. Uiagalelei
With Lawrence out, true freshman D.J. Uiagalelei from Bellflower, California, takes the reins as the starting quarterback. Uiagalelei was a five-star recruit and the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the country in the 2020 recruiting class.
He has seen action in five of Clemson’s six games so far, going 12-of-19 passing for 102 yards. He is yet to find the end zone through the air, but he scored twice on the ground in a 49-0 win over The Citadel.
However, his opportunities have been limited to garbage time. Now, he has to prove he can lead a team as its starter.
Depending on when Lawrence began showing symptoms, the Tigers could rely on Uigalelei against the Fighting Irish, as well, as ESPN’s Andrea Adelson reported.
The 10-day isolation clock begins when players show symptoms, and it’s unclear when those began for him. But regardless, Clemson will need its freshman passer to be ready to go.
The Tigers have looked the part of the nation’s top team so far. But now, their season is threatened by outside circumstances. It’s up to Uiagalelei to keep things on track.