Jadeveon Clowney sat out South Carolina's first scrimmage of the fall Saturday with a shoulder injury, according to the Associated Press, and you can bet the Southeastern Conference's top defensive player won't be asked to do anything in practice this week until he's fully cleared.
Still, it doesn't appear the injury is serious.
"I guess he bruised it, but it's fine," said defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. "We weren't going to play him anyway."
Clowney leads a staunch and promising Gamecocks defense into the regular season coming off a 13-sack season in 2012. The junior has indicated he will turn pro early and enter the draft next spring if he posts a strong season this fall. The Gamecocks will scrimmage twice more before opening the season Thursday, Aug. 29, against North Carolina.
A cautious approach with Clowney's shoulder could bode well for the Tar Heels. Clowney has been strong in season openers previously, recording two tackles for loss and a sack against Vanderbilt last season. A year earlier as a freshman, in his college debut, he made seven tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup against East Carolina.
Elsewhere at South Carolina's scrimmage, senior starting quarterback Connor Shaw (3-for-10, interception) was outplayed by the Gamecocks' promising young passer, Dylan Thompson. Thompson completed 5-of-7 passes for 74 yards and rushed for a touchdown.