Jadeveon Clowney played with sports hernia injury at South Carolina

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Pam Oliver caught a football to the face Sunday.
Jadeveon Clowney played 2013 with an injury at South Carolina. (USATSI)

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Remember how Jadeveon Clowney was "lazy," "spoiled" and "didn't care about football" during his final year at South Carolina? Yeah, turns out he was probably just "injured."

Clowney told NFL.com's Gil Brandt on Thursday he played his final year with the Gamecocks while dealing with the same sports hernia injury he had surgery on recently.

Bus Cook, Clowney's agent, told The Houston Chronicle the Texans No. 1 overall pick believed he was playing with a groin injury and almost skipped his pro day.

"He thought about not participating in his pro day but went ahead anyway, and what a performance," Cook said.

Clowney went under the knife earlier this month but Texans coach Bill O'Brien expects him back in time for training camp.

“It was the best thing for J.D. and the best thing for our team and the best thing for our organization,” O'Brien said at the time. “He'll be ready to go for training camp. That's about all I'll say about that.”

Initially Clowney said he didn't suffer the injury before the draft, so the perception of this one moving forward will certainly be interesting.

Regardless of when the injury happened, though, the Texans need Clowney on the field as soon as he's ready to go. He can make up for a lot thanks to his athleticism, but shifting to outside linebacker in Romeo Crennel's scheme isn't just a walk in the park.

Without a major impact from the top-overall pick, 2013 won't be any easier than last year for Houston either.

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