COLUMBIA, S.C. — Several prominent players on the South Carolina football team were sidelined for several games this season because of injuries.
The biggest blow came when junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel fractured a bone in his lower left leg in the second half of the Kentucky game in September. Had it not been for a setback during rehab, Samuel likely would have been able to return in time for the regular-season finale against Clemson.
A week after Samuel went down, South Carolina lost senior outside linebacker/defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams to a shoulder injury against Louisiana Tech.
Both will be back for the Gamecocks in 2018.
Reserve tight end Kyle Markway, a core special teams player, suffered a rib injury in Week 2 against Missouri and hasn’t played since.
Offensive linemen Cory Helms and Zack Bailey both missed multiple games. Helms, a senior guard, couldn’t play versus Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee. Bailey, a junior right tackle, had to sit out against Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Junior wide receiver Terry Googer, who played primarily on special teams, left the Texas A&M game with a concussion and has yet to return to action.
Junior tight end K.C. Crosby started in the Arkansas game and made his first 2 catches of the season before suffering the same injury as Samuel.
A week later, sophomore running back Rico Dowdle was sidelined by the exact same injury as Crosby and Samuel. Dowdle and Crosby are expected to be back for the Outback Bowl against Michigan.
Defensive backs D.J. Smith and Jamyest Williams didn’t play in the Wofford game, before returning a week later against Clemson, a game that freshman wide receiver Shi Smith missed.
The 11 players listed above combined to miss 55 games for the Gamecocks in 2017. Samuel and Allen-Williams remain out for the bowl game, and there’s no update on the status of Markway. Everyone else, except for maybe Shi Smith, is expected to be available on Jan. 1.
Despite missing so many key players in key areas, South Carolina still managed to finish Year 2 under Will Muschamp with an 8-4 record.
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