CLEMSON — Dabo Swinney, typically the man of 1,000 words, turned into the man of just half-a-dozen words Tuesday morning when he was asked about Kelly Bryant and the health status of his senior quarterback.
"He was good," Swinney swiftly said in response to a question about how Bryant looked in practice Monday. "He was good."
And that was that.
Then the Clemson football coach moved on.
Whether Bryant, the Clemson senior who was dealt a hit to the chest that knocked the breath out of him Saturday, is actually ready to play against Georgia Tech this week, is a storyline that will not totally have an answer until the Tigers officially take the field in Atlanta.
Swinney said Sunday that Bryant would be in a green jersey for limited players come Monday, then Bryant said Tuesday he was "full-go" in that practice, which created some contradictory confusion.
But the message from Clemson is that Bryant will be ready to play without limitations and the senior confidently echoed that sentiment Tuesday when he said felt like he was "pretty much back to 100 percent" and "full-go, ready to play today."
"I'm feeling better, much better. As you see on film, (I) just took a shot to the chest and then landed on the ball," he said. "The trainers did a really good job just going through all the procedures, so that was good."
Bryant said at the time of his injury, he was not totally sure what had happened given the unique nature of it, coupled with the fact that he had never experienced anything like that chest pain before. Once he was injured, Clemson gave him an EKG to study his heart rate and rhythm, then medical personnel ran a CT scan on him, as well to be extra cautious that no extra air was trapped. His breathing was immediately "out of whack" by Swinney's own comments and by his own admission, Bryant said he was "feeling a little weird."
Asked if he could have gone back into the game had Clemson needed him, Bryant said he felt like he could have, but the Tigers opted for him not to as to not run an unnecessary risk. It is worth mentioning, however, that Bryant was not even on the Clemson sideline for the majority of the entire third quarter, presumably receiving treatment.
If he is ready, as Clemson says he is, it is business as usual. But if Clemson needs to reassess at any point Saturday, the Tigers are in a more flexible position this year with freshman Trevor Lawrence than they were with 2017's backups. When Bryant was hobbled heading into Clemson's Syracuse loss in 2017, then knocked out for the second half, the game was left in the hands of the inexperienced Zerrick Cooper, who has since transferred.
Hunter Johnson took snaps as well.
Lawrence said he would be ready to go in any role Clemson needed him in in the meantime, but Bryant sounded confident he would be right back in his regular position.
"Now I'm feeling recovered. I've been getting treatment," he said. "So now I'm feeling pretty much back to 100 percent."