Steve Spurrier acknowledged Sunday that junior quarterback Connor Shaw has a slightly fractured right shoulder blade but did not rule out Shaw for Saturdays game against Missouri.
He should be very similar status wise as he was last week, South Carolinas coach said. Whether or not he can practice, we will have to wait and see and go from there, but he should be able to suit up and play this weekend.
Shaw, who was injured Aug. 30 against Vanderbilt and did not play Sept. 8 against East Carolina, did not practice full strength last week, but Spurrier decided Saturday afternoon to start him against UAB.
The result was not good. Shaw was 8-for-14 for 107 yards and one interception before taking a big hit in the second quarter that left him writhing on the ground in pain and knocked him out of the game. Normally a dangerous runner, Shaw had five carries for minus-6 yards and seemed to be avoiding contact in order to protect his shoulder.
Shaw said after the game that he had a crack in his shoulder blade. Spurrier was asked after the East Carolina game on Sept. 8 if Shaw had a fracture but referred to the injury only as a bone bruise. Spurrier did not say Sunday if he expected Shaw to start against Missouri.
We will have to see how he feels late in the week, Spurrier said. The trainer said if he had not got hit like that and landed in the way he did, he would have been OK throughout the game. The doctors say, that causes a lot of pain when he lands on it.
The No. 7 Gamecocks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) take on Missouri (2-1, 0-1 SEC) at 3:30 p.m. in Williams-Brice Stadium. The Tigers have quarterback questions of their own. Regular starter James Franklin missed Saturdays win over Arizona State due to an inflamed bursa sac in his throwing shoulder. Unlike Shaw, who said he received a painkilling injection Saturday, Franklin declined to take an injection in order to be able to play, he told the Columbia Tribune.
Shaws injury will not require surgery and will heal with time, Spurrier said. In the meantime, South Carolinas coach would like to see his quarterback, and all quarterbacks, protected from the kinds of hits that knocked Shaw out of the game Saturday. Shaw was hit as he released the ball on a long completion and no flag was thrown on the play.
We are trying to avoid concussions, but obviously there is no rule in tackling the quarterback and burying him in the ground the way the Arkansas kid (Tyler Wilson) got hurt and the way Connor got hurt last night, Spurrier said. In the NFL, they protect them a little better than we do in college. We do everything to protect helmet-to-helmet injuries and defenseless players, but to me after the quarterback has thrown the ball, that should be a defenseless player.
Shaws shoulder was sore before the climactic hit Saturday, he said (The more and more I threw, the more and more it hurt, he said.), but he did not rule out playing Saturday.
Who knows? I got better in five days last week, he said. Hopefully, Ill be back next week. I felt good coming into today. I felt I could play obviously. I absolutely felt I could play.