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Trevor Lawrence Tests Positive for COVID-19

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College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

News has broken this evening that Trevor Lawrence has tested positive for COVID-19. Clemson released a statement shortly after the news hit Twitter.

Trevor has authorized us this evening to announce that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now in isolation,” Swinney said in a statement. “He is doing well with mild symptoms but will not be available for this week’s game against Boston College. While we certainly will miss Trevor, this is an opportunity for other guys to step up and we’re excited about competing against a very good BC team on Saturday. Go Tigers.

A positive test would mean Lawrence is ruled out for 10 days according to ACC rules. This of course assumes Lawrence does not have any symptoms and eventually tests negative.

One thing that has been talked about is the possibility of Lawrence testing negative three times in a row like Nick Saban did previously. David Hale noted on Twitter that the ACC does not have a “test out” policy.

Based on this it seems like Lawrence will be out for 10 days, which means he will be out for this weekend’s game against Boston College. But the big question on everyone’s mind will be if he is out for Notre Dame. Best case, and again this assumes he is asymptomatic and recovers quickly, it all depends on when Lawrence tested positive. Clemson administers COVID-19 tests on Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday. It seems likely that this test was administered on Wednesday. Technically that makes the Notre Dame game 10 days from the positive test. But that would mean Lawrence is going into the Notre Dame game with not practice for 10 days, no film study with the coaches, not game planning. That is a tall order, and we don’t even know at this point if Lawrence will be healthy to play. He may still have symptoms.

From the ACC’s policy on COVID-19 testing:

Pursuant to CDC guidance, a student-athlete who tests positive for COVID-19 shall be isolated for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms/positive test and at least 1 day (i.e., 24 hours) has passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement of respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath). A student-athlete’s medical treatment will be determined by institutional medical staff, and be considered unavailable for training, team/group activities or game play until the student-athlete has both completed necessary isolation and had a medical clearance by team physicians. Consistent with NCAA Constitution 3.2.4.19, the institution’s medical staff must have unchallengeable autonomous authority to determine medical management and return-to-play decisions related to student-athletes.

This would mean Lawrence will need to symptom free at least one full day before returning to football activities if he continues to experience symptoms.

With Lawrence’s positive test we will have to wait to hear who else, if anyone, may have tested positive or will have to quarantine after tracing is complete. It is possible other players may be out. As we’ve seen at schools such as Wisconsin and Florida, a COVID-19 infection can spread quickly among a football team.

Until more information comes out the best we can do is hope that the spread of the virus is minimal and that anyone who is positive, including Lawrence, has a speedy recovery.

In lieu of Lawrence, it seems like Clemson will turn to freshman phenom DJ Uiagalelei. Though DJ has had some shoulder soreness recently, he has shown flashes of his ability when he’s allowed to run the offense.

Update:

Per Ross Dellenger at SI it appears that Lawrence’s 10 day clock would start at the onset of symptoms.

Depending on when that happened Lawrence could return to the field before the Notre Dame game. Of course this assumes he recovers per CDC guidelines and has a 24 hour period with no fever or other critical symptoms.