Quarterback Connor Shaw sat out Thursday’s rain-shortened practice due to back spasms that left him virtually immobile, coach Steve Spurrier said.
“He couldn’t even move back there so we sent him in to get treatment all day,” Spurrier said during his weekly Carolina Calls radio show. “Hopefully, that thing is nothing serious.”
The No. 9 Gamecocks have a day off Friday before returning to the practice field Saturday afternoon, and Spurrier is hopeful Shaw will be at full strength by then. Spurrier did not know what caused the problem but speculated weight lifting could be a factor.
Shortly after his teammates scampered off the practice field and into Williams-Brice Stadium in a pouring rainstorm, Shaw walked out of the team’s locker room under his own power. The junior passed for 1,448 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions last year.
Shaw’s injury wasn’t the only worrisome news from Thursday’s workout. Senior wide receiver D.L. Moore, a projected first-teamer in the team’s three-wide receiver formation, pulled a groin muscle. Moore walked with a slight limp and cut short a post-practice interview.
“Excuse me guys, I’m in pain right now,” he said.
Cornerback Akeem Auguste and tailback Shon Carson could miss extended time due to previous injuries, Spurrier said on his call-in show. Carson, who had surgery to repair a dislocated wrist earlier this week, will be out at least half the season, Spurrier said.
Auguste, a projected starter at cornerback before a serious injury to his right thigh, will be re-evaluated in a month but might have to sit out the entire season and apply for a sixth year of eligibility through a medical hardship waiver, Spurrier said.
“He probably is a candidate for that,” Spurrier said. “That’s a possibility, but we’re going to wait and see if his injury comes around by midseason.”
Auguste missed 12 of 13 games last year due to a foot injury.
WIDE RECEIVER WRAPUP
Spurrier confirmed Thursday that freshman wide receiver Shaq Roland of Lexington “is definitely going to play this year.”
“He’s a talent,” Spurrier said.
Fellow freshman wide receiver Kwinton Smith is not as certain to be in the lineup but has a chance, Spurrier said. Freshman wide receiver Jody Fuller “has got a bunch of guys ahead of him.”
Ace Sanders, Bruce Ellington and Moore are the team’s top three receivers, Spurrier said.
Redshirt freshman Shamier Jeffery is “doing OK” but needs to play faster, Spurrier said.
“He doesn’t move as fast as he needs to right now,” Spurrier said.
SPECIAL TEAMS SETTLED?
Walk-on Landon Ard, a high school teammate of Jadeveon Clowney, appears to have won the team’s kickoff job, Spurrier said on Carolina Calls. Senior Adams Yates will handle field goals and extra points.
Walk-on Tyler Hull has again taken the lead for the punting job, pushing past Patrick Fish and Mike Williamson, Spurrier said, although he stopped short of saying the job had been won.
... Freshman running back Mike Davis is now third string, with the injuries to Carson and Brandon Wilds (sprained ankle). Davis will travel to Nashville, Tenn., for the Vanderbilt game and dress out, he said.
The Gamecocks will practice Saturday in their indoor facility to help prepare for playing on Vanderbilt’s new artificial surface field.
Senior walk-on Blair Lowery of Irmo was moved Thursday from wide receiver to running back. He will now wear No. 19.
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