Jadeveon Clowney Injury: Updates on South Carolina Star's Shoulder
Star defensive end and preseason Heisman Trophy candidate Jadeveon Clowney is reportedly dealing with a lingering shoulder problem. Head coach Steve Spurrier enlightened the media on Clowney's struggles and his absence from practice Monday, per SportsCenter's Twitter feed:
"If (Jadeveon Clowney's shoulder) doesn't come around real soon, we may play without him the first game." - Steve Spurrier on his star DE— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 13, 2013
UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 14
From Josh Kendall of The State:
Jadeveon Clowney "is back in good graces. He's back in the fold. He's going to play against North Carolina," Spurrier says.— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) August 14, 2013
UPDATE: Tuesday, Aug. 13
From College Football on FOX:
Looks like Jadeveon got the message from the old ball coach. Clowney returns to practice after missing the last two with a bruised shoulder.— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 13, 2013
It's looking increasingly like the South Carolina Gamecocks' push for their first SEC championship may begin without their best player.
The Gamecocks open up their season against North Carolina on Aug. 29. Clowney missed both a team scrimmage Saturday and practice Monday, though he was back watching practice Tuesday afternoon. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward assured reporters his star pupil's injury was not serious, according to CBS Sports' Chip Patterson.
Spurrier, who seemed noticeably upset Monday that his players weren't watching practice, had calmed down by Tuesday. He told David Cloninger of GoGamecocks.com that a "communication problem" led to Clowney and wide receivers Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd skipping out on watching the session.
While also noting that each player is "fine," Spurrier did not guarantee any of them would play versus the Tar Heels. Clowney also took to Twitter to note his status depends on the day:
Good and bad days— jadeveon clowney 7 (@clownejd) August 12, 2013
Should he have to sit out against North Carolina or if this problem lingers throughout the season, the Gamecocks defense could be in trouble.
Clowney became one of college football's most dominant individual players as a sophomore. He compiled 54 total tackles and 13.5 sacks, despite often coming against double-teams in the Southeastern Conference—largely seen as the nation's best.
He was named a consensus All-American, finished in sixth place in the Heisman balloting and became the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Ineligible to parlay his success into cashing an NFL check, Clowney returns with even higher expectations.
While the injury doesn't seem overly concerning at the moment, all parties involved have motivation to stay cautious. He's also struggled through a knee injury during camp and sat out this year's Black and Garnet game with a sprained neck.
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