South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney may return on Saturday for the Gamecocks' matchup against Arkansas, according to comments made on Tuesday by head coach Steve Spurrier.
According to the Associated Press report, Spurrier will monitor Clowney and make the decision at the end of the week as to whether he has healed enough from a recent strained muscle near his ribcage that kept him out of practice last Thursday and again on Monday. Clowney sat out last Saturday's game against Kentucky.
Spurrier said, "We should be thankful and appreciative" that Clowney chose South Carolina even if people never see him on the field in a Gamecocks jersey again. The 20-year-old junior is considered a likely top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, but Spurrier said that he's confident that Clowney will play again for the Gamecocks this season:
''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. 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...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."
On the season, Clowney had two sacks and 12 tackles, a far cry from the school mark of 23.5 tackles for a loss he recorded last season. He has battled a host of setbacks so far this year, from the flu in the opener against North Carolina, to ongoing issues with bone spurs in his foot, to his recent strained muscle.