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Spurrier: Clowney working to return vs. Arkansas
Spurrier said he’ll know later in the week if Clowney has recovered enough from a strained muscle near his ribcage to get back on the field.
Since the 6-foot-6, 274-pound defensive end said shortly before kickoff last Saturday against Kentucky that he was in too much pain to play, there have been questions about whether the potential No. 1 pick in next year’s NFL draft was shutting it down for the season.
Spurrier doesn’t believe Clowney is done but didn’t rule out the possibility.
“Let me say this about Jadeveon, if he never plays another snap, we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina,” Spurrier said. “We’ve won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we’ve had in 120 years.
“So none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon. None of us.”
Spurrier certainly sounded upset Saturday night, saying that if the defensive end didn’t want to play for the Gamecocks, he didn’t have to and the program would “move on.”
The coach said since then, he has spoken with Clowney and is confident the junior is committed to finishing the season on the field.
“I’m all for Jadeveon and his future,” Spurier said. ” When he is ready to play we’re going to put him out there. He has been coming to treatment, I think, twice a day and told me he is doing everything he can to try to get ready to play.”
The eighth-year coach said he was more upset Saturday with how he learned of Clowney’s status.
Spurrier said he was more frustrated that proper protocol wasn’t followed and that word of Clowney’s absence in the 35-28 win over Kentucky didn’t come from trainers or team doctors. Instead, Spurrier learned about it when he saw Clowney without pads on prior to kickoff.
“Obviously, we all handled it poorly. All of us did,” Spurrier said.
Clowney is expected to talk with the media later Tuesday.
It has not been the season expected out of the SEC’s reigning defensive player of the year. He has just two sacks and 12 tackles. After setting a school mark of 23 1/2 tackles for loss last season, Clowney’s got just three stops behind the line of scrimmage this year.
Clowney was one of the most talked about player in college football after finishing last season with his helmet-popping hit on Michigan’s Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl.
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