Clemson University

Clemson’s Amari Rodgers exceeding expectations in ACL recovery 4 months after injury

Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers is ahead of schedule on his rehab after suffering a torn ACL this spring and should be back “sooner than later,” according to co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Jeff Scott.

“He’s doing well. My experience with guys, regardless of position, that have kind of had to battle through an ACL is a lot of it has to do with the individual, their mental toughness, their mental approach, the way that they attack it,” Scott said. “And the way that he has attacked it has not surprised me one bit. He’s ahead, really, of every benchmark that they have for him. Very similar to when Deshaun Watson was kind of going through that.”

Rodgers was expected to start in the slot this season after playing outside in 2018, prior to suffering the injury in late March.

There was fear that Rodgers could miss the entire year when the injury first occurred, but that will not be the case. Rodgers could be back as early as September, according to Tigers coach Dabo Swinney.

“I think he’s hopeful and we’re all hopeful that maybe he’ll be back sometime in September. That’d be awesome,” Swinney said. “But there’s no set, ‘He’s going to be back at this time.’”

Rodgers has already started running and will soon start cutting as well.

“I think for Amari it’s going to be one of those things that we’re having to kind of say ‘whoa’ and not sic ‘em, just kind of slow him down a little bit, because he’ll want to go out there and do probably a little bit more than the trainers want him to do right now,” Scott said. “But I know he’s able to do some straight ahead things, and we’re hoping in fall camp with the trainers he’ll be able to start doing some things laterally.”

Rodgers was second on Clemson’s team with 55 receptions last year. He totaled 575 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore.

Rodgers is one of several key pieces returning for Clemson on offense as the Tigers try to win their third national title in four years.

“He is doing some running and feels really good with where he is right now, as do the trainers. But it’s still a process. It’s not something where we’re going to rush him back and put him back out there before he’s ready, because we think he’s going to have a chance to have a really good season for us this year,” Scott said. “We just want to be sure that he’s really back to 100 percent before we put him back out there on the field.”