Jadeveon Clowney isn’t the only South Carolina defensive end who pushed through a minor foot injury early in the season.
Senior Chaz Sutton said he is still dealing with a nagging foot injury that has lingered since preseason camp. Sutton said his foot is feeling better.
“I would say the first two games, it was kind of a thing I just had to play through and whatever,” Sutton said. “But last game I felt pretty good coming out.”
Sutton had four tackles and 1 1/2 sacks against Vanderbilt on Saturday, by far his best of USC’s three games this fall. He said the Gamecocks bye week is coming at a good time. He isn’t the only one who feels that way.
At the outset of its bye week, USC was cautious with a number of players dealing with injuries during Tuesday evening’s practice. Clowney (foot) and defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles (sprained neck) were held out of practice. Sutton said he practiced, but he’s also being cautious.
On the offensive side, running back Mike Davis (ankle) wore a yellow (limited action) jersey Tuesday. Davis sprained his ankle against Vanderbilt, but it is not expected to be an issue when the Gamecocks travel to Central Florida on Sept. 28.
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said Clowney and Sutton will be day to day at practice for the rest of the season. Neither they, nor Quarles, are expected to miss games because of their injuries.
“We’ve had a lot of foot injuries this year,” Ward said, referencing a theme that includes cornerback Victor Hampton (bone spurs). “So that’s more than normal.
“You always want to build continuity of having the same 11 guys that are starting. It’s just something we’ll have to deal with.”
USC’s defense is getting some good news. Ward said linebacker Cedrick Cooper will be ready to play in two weekends, though it’s yet to be determined if he’ll start. Ward said he’s searching for more productivity at middle linebacker, and Cooper may switch from weak side to middle.
Ward said Clowney will do individual drills at practice, as well as select team activities. Even though he’s a senior, Sutton said he wants to miss as little time as possible.
“Every practice is important, so I want to get out here and do as much as I can,” Sutton said. “Do as much as my foot will allow me to do. I’m out here every day like the rest of these guys, just trying to get better.”