Will Trevor Lawrence play vs Notre Dame? No but he’ll travel

Trevor Lawrence won’t be playing against Notre Dame, but he will be on the sideline.

Clemson’s star quarterback will travel with the team to South Bend for Saturday’s Top 5 showdown.

Lawrence will have completed the required 10-day isolation period in time to travel with the Tigers, but he will not have passed the cardiac requirements.

“He’s doing great. He really is,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday. “He’s in the meetings. He’s Zooming in and all that stuff. So he’s doing well. He’s just anxious to get out. He’s back with us Thursday or Friday, so he’ll be with us. He’ll travel with us. He just can’t play because of the cardiac back-to-play protocol that’s in place.”

Atlantic Coast Conference rules require players to isolate for at least 10 days from the start of symptoms or a positive test. They must then undergo a cardiac evaluation before beginning a phased return and a re-acclimatization period.

There is no set minimum period for the phased return from the ACC. For Clemson athletes, it’s typically a minimum of two to three days for the phased return.

Having Lawrence at the game will provide another voice of reassurance and another set of eyes to help Tigers freshman quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei.

The California native will be making his first career road start and second career start against the Irish. Last week against Boston College, Uiagalelei completed 30-of-41 passes for 342 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had a 30-yard touchdown run.

Swinney is counting on Lawrence to help Clemson’s young QB on Saturday.

“He’s an incredibly knowledgeable guy and he’s been there,” Swinney said of Lawrence. “I think he’ll be able to bring a good presence to D.J. He’s got a great mind. He’s got great eyes. So he’s gonna be coach Lawrence.”

In addition to being down its starting quarterback, senior defensive leader and starting middle linebacker James Skalski will also miss the Notre Dame game.

Skalski has a groin injury and has been out the past two weeks. But like Lawrence, Skalski will travel with the team and will do everything he can to help on the sideline. Redshirt sophomore Jake Venables will start in Skalski’s place.

“Skalski’s going to be with us as well, so we’ll have coach Lawrence and coach Skalski this week,” Swinney said. “I told them I wasn’t gonna take them unless they were gonna be productive coaches for us, so that’s going to be their roles this week. So they’ll both take a lot of pride in that.”

No. 1 Clemson (7-0) at No. 4 Notre Dame (6-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Notre Dame Stadium

TV: NBC

Line: Clemson by 5.5

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Matt Connolly is the Clemson University sports beat writer and covers college athletics for The State newspaper and TheState.com. Connolly graduated from USC Upstate in Spartanburg in 2011 and previously worked for The (Spartanburg) Herald Journal covering University of South Carolina athletics. He has been with The State since 2015. Connolly received an APSE top 10 award for beat reporting for his coverage of Clemson in 2019. He has also received several SCPA awards, including top sports feature in 2019.
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