Clemson starting quarterback Deshaun Watson will reportedly undergo surgery on Friday due to a torn ACL, ruling him out of the Russell Athletic Bowl.
This will be Watson’s second operation this season after he broke a bone in his right hand against Louisville earlier this season.
Following the broken bone in his hand, Watson injured his knee in the Georgia Tech game in November and has been playing with a partially torn ACL ever since.
Head coach Dabo Swinney said, “We might go ahead and do surgery and try to get a three-week head start on his rehab. He has a good eight months of rehab and we want him available for skills and drills this summer.”
Despite missing four games this season, Watson passed for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns, also adding 200 yards on the ground.
There were reports that Watson could potentially play in the bowl game against Oklahoma (8-4) but has chosen to undergo surgery in order to speed up the rehabilitation process which is expected to be six to nine months.
The Tigers will miss the playmaking ability of Watson for their upcoming contest against the Oklahoma Sooners. The freshman came on the scene early in the season and proved he belonged on the field. The Georgia native set a Clemson record after tossing six touchdowns against North Carolina on Sept. 27.
Clemson senior quarterback Cole Stoudt will fill in as the starting QB for the bowl game. Stoudt battled a shoulder injury this season and also threw ten interceptions in seven games. Stoudt will have big shoes to fill for his last game this season.
The Russell Athletic Bowl will take place on Dec. 29 in Orlando, Florida.
*Section Photo credit to Ronald Martinez, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Joshua S. Kelly, USA Today Sports.