Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence takes every practice snap after neck scare

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence returned to practice Monday, taking every snap after having gone through concussion protocol as the result of a hard hit Saturday.

Lawrence was hit near his head on a run play late in the second quarter against Syracuse and missed the rest of the game.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said on his radio show Monday the freshman quarterback had improved markedly.

"His neck's not quite as sore," Swinney said. "It was pretty sore on Sunday but everything checked out OK. He was back out there and took all the reps. He looked good."

Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said Monday the Clemson medical staff was encouraged by Lawrence's response to the injury and that staffers believe it could've been more of a neck strain than any significant head injury.

"The medical staff sees a lot of positive signs and everything is tracking the right way," Scott said. "They're going to let him lift and go through their protocol they have. But they've been very optimistic, and they're kind of finding out it's more of a neck strain, with the way he got hit, so that's good news."

Redshirt freshman Chase Brice entered in relief of Lawrence and led a furious second-half comeback, including converting a crucial fourth-and-6 play, as the No. 4 Tigers scored with 41 seconds left to secure a 27-23 victory.

Brice had been set to potentially take first-team reps in practice Monday, with freshman Ben Batson and receiver Hunter Renfrow splitting second-team reps.

"We're actually preparing four quarterbacks to play. We were getting Chase ready last week, getting him more reps. ... Now it's about getting Batson and Renfrow in a position where they can at least manage the game and do some things offensively."

There's no sign that Kelly Bryant, who started the first four games of the season for Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) before announcing he'd transfer after he was demoted, will return, however.

Brice said he received a text message from Bryant after the game congratulating him on the win, and he ran into Bryant on campus later, but the two didn't discuss any plans for the veteran to return.

Swinney refused to discuss any potential return for Bryant after Saturday's game, saying he would not discuss players who were no longer on the roster.