Shaq Lawson Injury News: Clemson Defensive End Cleared to Play in CFP National ChampionshipBy Russell Westerholm
Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson has all but guaranteed he will play in the National Championship against Alabama, but how effective he will be remains to be seen.
Even a week ago, Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney was "very optimistic" Lawson would be healthy enough to play Monday night. But over the weekend, Lawson admitted his knee was in a good deal of pain and put his probability of playing at "60 percent," CBS Sports reported.
"Oh yeah, it hurts," Lawson told reporters Saturday. "I can't really tell until I start moving on the field."
The AP All-American defensive end figures to play a major role in Clemson's efforts to try and throw Alabama's offense off its rhythm. When healthy and effective, Lawson can be one of the best pass rushers in the nation, which has allowed Clemson to disrupt opposing offenses in the backfield.
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But the Tigers defense is getting its biggest test Monday night when they try to stop Heisman winning running back Derrick Henry.
"We expect him to play," Swinney told reporters Sunday. "Hopefully, he'll be able to perform and play at the level we all know he can. He looked good [Saturday]. He's done everything he needs to do to play in the game."
While it seems certain Lawson will play Monday night, Clemson may have to evaluate and re-evaluate its star defensive end's knee throughout the game.