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USF’s Jordan McCloud barely could grip ball vs. BYU, Kerwin Bell says

Additionally, the redshirt freshman continues nursing an injured shoulder
USF quarterback Jordan McCloud (12), scoring a touchdown during the second half against BYU, had to wear a glove on his injured throwing hand to help him grip the ball. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
USF quarterback Jordan McCloud (12), scoring a touchdown during the second half against BYU, had to wear a glove on his injured throwing hand to help him grip the ball. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times] [ OCTAVIO JONES | Times ]
Published Oct. 16, 2019
Updated Oct. 16, 2019

TAMPA ― Turns out, Jordan McCloud grimaced his way through more discomfort last weekend than even he, or the green glove on his throwing wrist, indicated.

USF offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell said Wednesday that McCloud barely could grip the ball ― much less throw it ― in the days leading to the Bulls’ 27-23 homecoming triumph against BYU.

The redshirt freshman, nursing a nagging wrist contusion, finished 7-for-14 for 72 yards and an interception. A handful of his incompletions were badly off the mark, and his 39-yard touchdown throw went to a receiver (tight end Mitch Wilcox) for whom it wasn’t intended.

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“Last week, it looked like a middle school out there trying to throw the ball – because he had a hurt hand,” Bell told reporters Wednesday. “He could not grip the ball. He kept wearing a glove, without a glove. He had bad bruises on his hand, and couldn’t grip the ball all last week.”

Aggravating matters was the shoulder stinger McCloud sustained early in the game. He remained in the contest, running for a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Coach Charlie Strong downplayed the significance of the glove immediately after the game, and said Monday that McCloud should be fine for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. contest at Navy. Bell, however, said McCloud sat out Tuesday’s practice as a precaution for the shoulder, but is expected to be close to 100 percent by Saturday.

The Midshipmen (4-1, 2-1) are almost certain to load the box and force McCloud to win the game through the air. Opening-night starter Blake Barnett (ankle) already has been ruled out for the game by Strong. Walk-on Kirk Rygol likely will serve as the emergency QB.

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“The hand’s almost healed up,” Bell said. “And now it’s the shoulder. … It was a little stinger. He played better today, and we think by (Thursday) or Friday he’s gonna be ready to go.”

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.