Clemson provided a Deshaun Watson injury update, stating the Tigers’ star quarterback would not start the second half against Syracuse because of a shoulder injury.
Clemson fans feared the worst, but it doesn’t appear they have much to worry about beyond Saturday.
Star quarterback Deshaun Watson suffered a right shoulder injury during Saturday’s game against Syracuse and went to the locker room for further evaluation. He did not start the second half, although the Tigers were up 30-0 and simply kept Watson out as a precautionary measure.
Watson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another before being injured in the second quarter, when two Syracuse defenders made a tackle that forced him to come down hard on his throwing shoulder. Watson got up and motioned to the sideline that he needed to be removed for evaluation.
Clemson tweeted during halftime that Watson has a bruised shoulder and would be available in the second half despite not starting. That’s good news for a Tigers team that will need him going forward if it wants to keep its hopes alive of returning to the College Football Playoff.
Watson led Clemson to an undefeated regular season and last year’s national championship game, where he set a title-game record for total yardage in a loss to Alabama. He set an ACC record with 47 total touchdowns while finishing third in the Heisman Trophy race behind Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey.
The Tigers’ schedule is relatively easy going forward with Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and South Carolina remaining, and coach Dabo Swinney could elect to either rest Watson completely or reduce his playing time if the shoulder issue persists.