As had previously been rumored, a health issue unrelated to any type of football injury has cost one member of the Syracuse squad the remainder of his career.
Speaking to the Syracuse Post-Standard, the father of Steven Clark (pictured, No. 72) confirmed that his son has been medically disqualified from playing again for the Orange because of what was described as a genetic disorder. Clark was diagnosed with Factor V Leiden in one of two genes, which makes him susceptible to blood clots.
While one hematologist said Clark would need to be placed on blood thinners for the remainder of his life, making a career in football untenable, two other doctors, another hematologist as well as a vascular surgeon, indicated that shouldn’t be the case.
The defensive tackle’s dad, though, seemed to place the onus on SU’s medical staff for some of what’s transpired of late. From the Post-Standard:
After Steven Clark suffered a sprained MCL and slight meniscus tear during practice on Tuesday, Nov. 8, an SU Athletics medical staffer fitted him for a knee brace that the family believes was too small.
Two days later, the tightness of the brace was causing Clark severe pain. He couldn’t walk. He went to see then-head football athletic trainer Denny Kellington before being sent to the emergency room. A Doppler ultrasound test showed four clots around where the brace had been — one in his groin, one in his thigh, one behind his knee and one in his calf.
“Steven told me they tightened the hell out of (the brace),” Steve Clark said. “Three days later, his leg’s a sausage.
Clark will end his Orange career having played in 21 games, starting nine of those contests. He was credited with 37 tackles, three tackles for loss and a pair of fumble recoveries.