Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on Monday said injured starting quarterback Kelly Bryant has responded well to treatment for injuries suffered during the Tigers' 27-24 loss to Syracuse on Friday night. Clemson will approach Bryant's return with caution during the bye week, Swinney said.
Bryant will not practice Monday, Swinney said. The quarterback suffered a concussion Friday, adding to the sprained ankle he suffered the previous week against Wake Forest.
"Hopefully by Wednesday he's out there moving around, but we're going to be really cautious with him this week and really get him dialed in on what we're doing, game planwise," Swinney said on a conference call with reporters Monday. "Come Wednesday, I think we'll have a much better feel for what he's going to do, practicewise, Wednesday and Thursday, and then they'll be off for the weekend."
Clemson next plays Georgia Tech on Oct. 28. After Friday's unexpected loss to the Orange, the Tigers have little margin for error if they want to return to the College Football Playoff. While disappointed over the loss Friday, Swinney made a point of crediting Syracuse for the victory.
"We got our butts kicked, and we deserved it, and we earned it," Swinney said. "Let's just compliment Syracuse. There ain't no excuses. They had the same opportunity as we did. They just outcoached us and outplayed us, and they earned it, and we earned our butt-whooping. There's no excuses."
After the game, Swinney visited Syracuse's locker room to offer congratulations to Orange coach Dino Babers and the Orange players, a gesture that went viral after Syracuse players discussed it during interviews and on social media.
"First of all, it's a very unique setup at Syracuse," Swinney said. "Our locker rooms are right beside each other in the same hallway. You could hear 'em celebrating. I wanted Dino to know, 'Listen, this ain't about Clemson, this is about you guys.'
"I'm happy for him. He's trying to build a program. I have a lot of respect for him. They flat-out outplayed us, and I didn't want it to be, 'Well, Clemson didn't play well.' They frickin' whipped our butts and outcoached us. That should be the story, nothing else. It was just right there. It wasn't that big a deal."