Doctor treating COVID patients weighs in on Trevor Lawrence playing


by - Staff Writer -
The mandatory ACC isolation period likely means Lawrence could not practice before a game next week even if feeling better. (Clemson photo)
The mandatory ACC isolation period likely means Lawrence could not practice before a game next week even if feeling better. (Clemson photo)

Let's start here: nobody knows the immediate future ahead for Clemson's Trevor Lawrence as he's experiencing what he called "relatively mild" symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. On the outside-looking-in, all you can do at this point is wish him well in his recovery and hope for the best.

With a trip to No. 4 Notre Dame next week, there are natural questions, however, about whether Lawrence could possibly be ready for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff next Saturday after an ACC-mandated isolation period (10 days from onset of symptoms or positive test) that will extend well into next week.

ESPN went to an expert treating COVID patients with former football player and now doctor Myron Rolle, who played with Florida State before exploring a career as a neurosurgeon.

From Rolle's experience, Lawrence playing as soon as next Saturday seems unlikely.

"I’d say no. I’m very conservative," Rolle told ESPN's Get Up morning show. "I look at the patients we handle here at Mass General Hospital - the patients I have operated on who had COVID-19, the patients that have been exposed to staff members that have COVID-19. They go into isolation. They are in droplet, contact, and airborne precautions. They are tested with rapid PCR tests consistently. Even if they are ready to go to a rehab or go home because they have cleared PT or something like that, we are very conservative.

"We are also very proactive in the sense we want to make sure everyone is very, very healthy before they step out into the community and I think the same thing needs to be true here. The NCAA, NFL, high school, college, and other systems want to be serious about putting a premium on their athletes and their families then they will go very, very slow to make sure these players are absolutely clear and that they don’t jeopardize their future as a football player, as an athlete but also as a human that has to live with maybe some of the uncertainties of what COVID can do in the long term."

What's Lawrence's likely immediate road ahead?

"His recovery is going to be tough certainly because he is obviously used to working out and being in an environment with other players in a situation where he may be exposed over and over again and restart his clock for being positive for COVID," Rolle said. "He does have the advantage of being young. He has the advantage of not having any comorbidities and not being sick at baseline. That’s helpful for him, but right now I think the focus needs to be on the isolation. Making sure that he's away from any other further exposures. Making sure he is taken care of and his symptoms are managed the best way they possibly could be. Making sure we stay alert and vigilant to his oxygen consumption status.

"That’s obviously very important because we don’t want something long-lasting to affect this young man’s career or his life once football is done. That’s important."

Clemson will start freshman quarterback DJ Uiagalelei on Saturday at noon versus Boston College (ABC).

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tigersx4
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