Shaq Lawson Injury: Updates on Clemson Star's Knee and Return

Mike ChiariFeatured Columnist

Clemson's Shaq Lawson reacts after sacking Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Nov.14, 2013, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.(AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)
RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press

Clemson Tigers defensive end Shaq Lawson left the Orange Bowl clash with the Oklahoma Sooners early in the first quarter after suffering a knee injury and did not return. However, he is ready to return for Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

Continue for updates.

Lawson Active vs. Alabama

Monday, Jan. 11

Lawson is available to play against the Crimson Tide on Monday, per Brad Senkiw of the Independent Mail.

CBS Sports' Jon Solomon captured a photo of Lawson wearing a knee brace during pregame warm-ups: 

Swinney Comments on Lawson's Recovery

Sunday, Jan. 10

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he is still expecting Lawson to play on Monday, per Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman. "He looked good yesterday. He's done everything he needs to do to play in the game."

Swinney said on Jan. 4 that he was "very optimistic" Lawson will be able to play against the Crimson Tide, per Dan Hope of Orange and White.

Lawson Comments on Status for Championship

Saturday, Jan. 9

Lawson said there's a "60 percent chance" he'll play in Monday's game, according to ESPN's Joe Schad. He added he's been limited to scout team work in practice, per Schad

On Dec. 31, Lawson said he will be back for the title game, per Susan Miller Degnan of the Miami Herald.

Clemson Able to Overcome Lawson's Absence 

The Central, South Carolina, native has enjoyed an excellent 2015 campaign with 55 tackles and 10.5 sacks to his credit entering the Orange Bowl.

He figured to be a major factor in terms of pressuring and containing Sooners superstar quarterback Baker Mayfield, but Clemson managed to win despite his enormous presence.

The onus would have fallen on freshman Austin Bryant to replace Lawson's production if he had been unable to play in the championship game. Although Bryant is a talented player, he simply doesn't command the same level of offensive attention that an accomplished star like Lawson does.


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