One of the best receiver talents in college football will not only miss the 2020 season, but his career could also be in jeopardy.
Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross, who was expected to be Trevor Lawrence’s top target in the passing game this season, has been diagnosed with a congenital fusion in his spine.
According to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, Ross suffered what the team believed to be a stinger during a scrimmage prior to the coronavirus shutting down spring practice, with team doctors finding the issue in an X-ray. It was then revealed that Ross has been dealing with the spinal issue since birth.
“Caught a slant, took a hit, went down,” Swinney said. “Stinger symptoms, numbness, slow to get up.”
Now, Ross will undergo surgery in Pittsburgh on Friday, though Swinney says there is a legitimate long-term risk for the star wideout if he continues to play football.
“He feels perfectly fine, but doctors know he’s at risk,” Swinney said.
The Clemson head coach said Ross’ neuroscientist, Dr. David Okonkwo, is “optimistic” that Ross will be able to return at some point, though the cases of players coming back following this surgery are rare.
Now, Ross will have to make a decision in January regarding his football future, choosing between a return to Clemson for his senior season or trying his luck in the NFL Draft.
After a breakout 1,000-yard season as a freshman, Ross finished last year with 66 catches for 865 yards and eight touchdowns.
Crushing news for one of the most talented receivers in the nation.