It was a sight you hope you would never see. Jadeveon Clowney limping - though slightly, but limping none the less - down National Guard Road before practice ended with athletic trainers by his side. Conversations outside the practice fields ceased and all eyes were fixed on the 6-6, 254 pound freshman as he turned down Bluff Road and eventually disappearing behind the Cock-a-Booses as he headed to the locker room. It was obvious the injury, but the severity was the great unknown. An ankle sprain he misses a few days. A high ankle sprain and he could be out for a while.
Minutes later practice was over and head coach Steve Spurrier pulled up in his golf cart. It was quite obvious what the first question was going to be. As Spurrier answered the question, all of Gamecock Nation breathed a huge symbolic sigh of relief.
"He sprained his foot a little bit," Spurrier said. "Doc doesn't think it's too bad, but he sprained his foot a little bit so he's going in to put some ice on it."
Clowney, who says he's injured that ankle before, was injured trying to get around offensive tackle Kyle Nunn during practice.
"I was actually blocking him on a pass play," Nunn said. "He tried to do a swim move. I don't know what happened, but I think he just tweaked an ankle."
Clowney wasn't the only defensive lineman to suffer an injury Tuesday. Melvin Ingram was injured trying to block a punt when he ran into one of his own players.
"Melvin actually bruised his thigh a little bit today," Spurrier said. "Two of our d-linemen had a minor, nagging little thing. If it had to happen, luckily it happened 11 days before the game. They should be okay."
Spurrier said both will sit out a day or two but should be a full go by the weekend. Still, it shows just how fast one of the deepest defensive lines in the country can take a few steps back. Injuries are always part of the game, but losing your returning leader in sacks and the number one prospect in the country in a span of two hours could have been devastating.
As it is, however, it provided just a brief scare and a reminder of how fast things can change.
- Spurrier says the team will scrimmage some Wednesday and it will probably be the last scrimmage of fall camp. It will serve as a last chance for some players to make a case on the depth chart. It will also go a long way in determining whether Stephen Garcia or Connor Shaw starts at quarterback, though it probably won't be announced until next week.
- Spurrier was also aware of the announcement that Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt has been diagnosed with early onset dementia.
"I heard that news and I heard she's continuing on," Spurrier said. "Like she said, there is ways to handle that disease and I'm sure she'll do everything possible that it will not affect her very much if at all. I think she'll be an excellent coach several more years."
- Spurrier also sounded off on the offensive line. He has been pleased with the first team has looked in camp, but not so pleased with the second team. Saturday's scrimmage probably sticks out in Spurrier's mind where the offensive line struggled to keep the defensive line out of the backfield. Spurrier says the second group is "way behind" and "Hopefully they won't have to play too much this year."
Clowney, Ingram injured Tuesday
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