The last thing you want to read about after a spring game is an injury, especially one that involves a player competing for significant playing time. And the last thing you want to read about is a potential major knee injury. Unfortunately, that is exactly what you are about to do now.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Chad Kelly, who was battling with Cole Stoudt for Clemson’s backup job, went down with what a knee injury during the Tigers Orange and White game Saturday.
“It looks like a torn ACL,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “We will see the MRI results to make sure. It was tough. We had a purple jersey on him, but he got hurt making a cut and the leg gave way. I am very disappointed and I know Chad is.”
Kelly looked sharp before the injury. On his first drive he completed six of his first seven passes, including a touchdown to Charone Peake. He also had 14 yards rushing. The outspoken and outgoing signal caller was getting his first chance to shine and was making the most of it.
“Chad was so fired up to play in this game and compete,” Swinney said. “He had a great start on the first drive. He is going to work hard and come back. It is in his DNA.”
If it is in fact an ACL injury Kelly’s 2013 season would probably be in jeopardy. It normally takes close a year to recover from a torn ACL. Regardless of the severity of Kelly’s injury, Swinney is confident it won’t deter his career long term.
“I heard Jim Kelly (Chad’s uncle) speak recently and he was told his arm was through because of injury. But he came back and ended in the Hall of Fame. (Chad) will overcome it and come back. He could help us late this coming season. Look what Adrian Peterson did for the Minnesota Vikings this year after suffering a torn ACL.”
Kelly wasn’t the only Clemson player to get hurt Saturday. Kalon Davis and Same Cooper also suffered knee injuries early in the game. Fortunately, neither is believed to be as serious as Kelly’s.