Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence said he's "just happy to be back" after clearing the ACC's COVID-19 protocol.
Lawrence missed the Tigers' last two games after testing positive for the virus.
"It wasn't even really bad enough for me to go see the trainers as far as how I felt," he said of the days before testing positive, per The Athletic's Grace Raynor. "I didn't really feel that bad."
Per the Associated Press' Pete Iacobelli, Lawrence did feel some symptoms, coming down with a headache and sinus problems before he was officially diagnosed. As a result, his 10-day isolation period began with the onset of the symptoms and not the positive test.
His isolation period ended before Clemson's 47-40 double-overtime loss to Notre Dame, but he had to watch from the sideline. He said he couldn't have been cleared in time because he was awaiting the results of cardiac scans as the team was preparing to leave for South Bend, Indiana.
The junior quarterback added that a level of worry tied to COVID-19 remains in the back of his mind.
"There's a little bit of concern just because the virus is—it's a small chance, but it could have some lingering effects and could be back," he said. "So there's a little bit of that. Thankfully, I'm healthy and still feeling good. But I think there's a little bit of concern just because of the nature of the virus."
Lawrence provided a silver lining to his diagnosis, saying he effectively got "three bye weeks of rest," which could help him stay fresher as the season unfolds.
Lawrence's absence may not have played much of a role in the Tigers' first regular-season defeat since Oct. 13, 2017. His replacement, D.J. Uiagalelei, went 29-of-44 for 439 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Clemson's offensive problems stemmed more from Travis Etienne's 28 rushing yards and one fumble that Notre Dame ran back for a touchdown. Unless Lawrence was planning to play both ways, he wouldn't have helped a Tigers defense that allowed 519 yards, either.
The College Football Playoff selection committee might be willing to give the team a mulligan given Lawrence's situation. Clemson has three more games before potentially playing in the ACC championship. Winning all four could be enough to seal a playoff berth.