Benched QB Kelly Bryant misses Clemson's Tuesday practice


Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant, demoted from the starting job earlier this week, missed practice Tuesday for undisclosed reasons.

A team spokesman confirmed that Bryant was not at Tuesday’s workout. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said he had given Bryant the day off Monday to process the decision to have true freshman Trevor Lawrence start Saturday against Syracuse.

Swinney told ESPN’s Chris Low that he would discuss Bryant’s situation Wednesday on the ACC coaches’ teleconference. Bryant started throughout last season for Clemson, and started the Tigers’ first four games of this year.

Clemson coaches this week stressed that the quarterback competition is ongoing but that Lawrence’s performance last week at Georgia Tech separated him.

“We’ve played four games now and it’s a difficult thing, man, it’s a tough day, but it’s just where we are,” Swinney said earlier Tuesday. “I’ve told y’all that many times that if we saw a change, if there was a change, we’d probably all know it, and that’s what happened Saturday. And Kelly didn’t do anything wrong. He played well. But Trevor, after four games, productivity and just the sheer data, he deserves to run out there first this game.”

Swinney continued: “But that doesn’t mean Kelly doesn’t deserve to play. We trust Kelly, we believe in Kelly. Kelly’s a great football player. … He’ll continue to help us win.”

Because Bryant, a senior, played in only four games, he could capitalize on the new redshirt rule and immediately seek a transfer, preserving a year of eligibility in 2019. The new rule states that players who participate in four games or fewer can retain the season of eligibility.

Lawrence leads Clemson with 600 passing yards and has nine touchdowns and only two interceptions, completing 65 percent of his attempts. Bryant has 461 passing yards with two touchdowns and one interception, completing 66.7 percent of his attempts with 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

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