May 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans first-round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney speaks during a press conference at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jadeveon Clowney played with sports hernia last year at South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney failed to have a monster season as a junior with the South Carolina Gamecocks as his production feel dramatically from a 13-sack season as a sophomore to only three in his final collegiate season. Now we have a reason why.

Clowney’s significant drop in production didn’t hurt him in the 2014 NFL Draft last month as he was the No. 1 overall pick, but it was Clowney who was the one hurting as he played through a sports hernia, according to comments he made at the rookie symposium via Pro Football Talk.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that Clowney spoke to Gil Brandt of at the Rookie Symposium on Thursday and told Brandt that he played through a sports hernia at South Carolina last season. McClain also reports that Clowney’s agent Bus Cook called it a groin injury that caused Clowney to think about sitting out the pro day workout.

This contradicts comments made by Clowney, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery and currently has no timetable for a return, and the Texans who said Clowney did not inure himself until he started feeling pain and discomfort after arriving to the team after May’s draft.

There were reports Clowney had a groin pull at his pro day that wowed teams from across the NFL and that was on the heels of his scintillating workout at the NFL Combine in February where he ran like a wide receiver.

The timing of the injury would raise some eyebrows, because he didn’t look like an injured player at either of those events and there were zero medical red flags at the combine. But what is more of a head-scratcher is why Clowney would not alert the Gamecock training staff and initially lie about the timing and extent of the injury.

The Texans aren’t so much focused on when Clowney was hurt, rather they only care when their outside linebacker and rush end will be healthy enough to get back on the field and start learning Romeo Crennel’s complex 3-4 defense.

Tags: Football Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina Gamecocks

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