If there is a college football season in the fall, Clemson’s potential first-round draft choice Justyn Ross won’t be part of it.
Coach Dabo Swinney announced Monday that the rising junior wide receiver has a “congenital fusion” in his neck/spine area and is hoping to return to the field by January. If so, Ross will have to decide whether to return to Clemson or enter the 2021 NFL Draft and go to the Combine with serious questions about his long-term health and injury risk.
“He’s doing great,” Swinney said in his update on Ross.
Ross has 112 catches for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns in two years at Clemson and was expected to replace Tee Higgins as the top target for quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the projected No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, during Clemson’s next run at a national title.
Swinney told reporters Ross is expected to undergo surgery Friday after an X-Ray earlier this spring revealed the condition from birth. The coach said in March that Ross was held out of spring practice as a precaution because of “some stinger symptoms” lingering.
The 2021 NFL Draft class again is supposed to be receiver-heavy. Players must be three years out of high school in order to be eligible for the Draft.
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