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Jadeveon Clowney says he played last season with a sports hernia

Houston Texans first round draft pick Jadeveon Clowney takes the field for NFL football rookie camp Friday, May 16, 2014, in Houston

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Jadeveon Clowney's lack of production in 2013 led to a lot of harsh criticism about his heart for the game and his work ethic. It turns out that might have been a touch of overreaction from those critics.

Clowney says he played last season with a sports hernia injury, the Houston Chronicle's John McClain reported. It was reported that Clowney recently had surgery for that injury, but it wasn't known that this year's No. 1 overall pick played through it last season at South Carolina.

That certainly puts a little different spin on why he had just three sacks last season, if that information is accurate. Perhaps it's impressive he had three sacks at all (and performed well at the combine and his pro day) with that injury.

The Texans hope Clowney is back for the start of training camp, although McClain reported that Clowney isn't 100 percent sure. Even if he misses the start of camp, it'll be pretty hard to criticize his toughness anymore after this revelation.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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