South Carolina All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney missed a third straight practice due to a rib injury and his status for this Saturday's games at Arkansas is officially listed as questionable. Clowney spoke to the media for the first time since missing Saturday night's game against Kentucky. Clowney was scheduled to be in the starting lineup, but told coaches just before kickoff that he couldn't play.
Here are quotes from Clowney from USC's post-practice report:
All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney did not practice on Tuesday, but spoke with the media about the events that unfolded last Saturday night when he did not play against Kentucky due to a muscle strain around his ribcage. ??It was a miscommunication between me and the coaches and the trainer. I should have handled it different.?? Clowney indicated he originally suffered the injury during the UCF game, and aggravated it on Wednesday during practice.Clowney put a stop to those who feel he should take the rest of the year off. ??That??s people??s opinion. I??m out here with my team every day, practicing with my team. People can say what they want to say. They??re not here. They??re not in the locker room or around the coaching staff with us. I know what??s going on around here. We??re 4-1 and just trying to keep winning games. That??s all we can do.??Clowney remains questionable for the Arkansas game and does not know when he??ll return, but has been getting regular treatment from the athletics training staff. ??It depends on how I??m feeling. It??s bothering me. I can??t really run right now. When I start back running, I will be out there.??Clowney confirmed he is still committed to the team. ??I know my situation with the team. Our goals are still out there for us. I dedicate myself to this team and this university. I??m just going to do what I have to do to get better and come back out there and play.??I enjoy playing (football),?? added Clowney. ??I come out here every day since I??ve been here. You all should know that by now. I just take it one day at a time. I??m in college. I??m playing for this university right now. I??m going to do that and get ready for the future. I??m not looking past this week. We??ve got Arkansas coming up. I??m here to play for my team and my university.??I haven??t played my last game yet,?? noted Clowney. ??I will be back on the field. I just don??t know how long it will take to get back but I??m going to be back playing. I??m going to keep doing my thing, keep playing football and moving forward.??
Here are quotes from Steve Spurrier at his weekly press conference talking about the Clowney situation
"Jadeveon has a muscle strain near his rib area that caused him to miss the game last week against Kentucky," Spurrier said. "He was in pain, and it was diagnosed later. And, uh, obviously we all handled it poorly. All of us did"
"The proper procedure and protocol when a player's hurt he tells the trainer or the team doctor, 'Hey, I can't go. This thing is hurting. I can't, there's too much pain,' or whatever. And the trainer tells me, the head coach, 'He's out. He's not playing.' And I say, 'OK. He's out. He's not playing, simple as that.' But we all didn't do that, and it caused some confusion. We didn't know he wasn't suiting up and this, that and the other. So we didn't handle it well I think the whole group of us."
"But let me say this about Jadeveon. If he never plays another snap here we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina. We've won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we've had in the history of this school, 120 years. So none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon, none of us."
"He's played his part tremendously. I think we're 26-5 since he suited up for South Carolina. And, uh, I'm all for Jadeveon and his future. And, uh, when he's ready to play we're going to put him out there."
"He's been coming to treatment twice a day (the trainer) told me, doing everything he can to try to get ready to play. And uh, I just want to clear the air that Jadeveon, all those #7 jerseys and all the money he's made for our school, he's been a tremendous important player, and we all, every Gamecock including me and coaches and everybody out there, we need to be appreciative that he chose South Carolina. He could have gone anywhere in the country, and he's a big reason that we've had those seasons. And, uh, he's trying to do all he can to get ready to play."
"So, we all handled it poorly, all of us. And, uh, when I make a comment about a player doesn't have to play if he doesn't want to that really goes to any player, any player. Connor Shaw, Bruce Ellington, if for some reason any player doesn't want to play then as coaches we don't say you have to play. That's something coaches don't do. And this was a situation that he had something really bothering him, and hopefully it will be taken care of real soon."
"OK. Hopefully we can all move on about our business and be thankful and appreciative that Jadeveon Clowney is a South Carolina Gamecock."