That didn’t work out well last year, when the sixth overall pick in the 2012 draft struggled and lost his starting job. But Claiborne isn’t sweating it after sitting out the preseason opener due to tendinitis in his right knee and the last three games due to a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder, saying the media seems more concerned about it than him.
“I’m not frustrated at all,” Claiborne said. “Where I’m at right now, I’m happy. I’m not upset at missing time or anything. I’m in a good place.”
Claiborne practiced all week. The original plan was for him to play a series or two in the preseason finale to chip off some rust, but executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team opted to sit Claiborne to avoid the risk of re-injuring the shoulder.
Claiborne said another factor was that “it wasn’t worth it” for the medical staff and him to do everything they would have needed to get him ready to play for just a handful of snaps. He anticipates taking a pain-killing injection before next week’s season opener against the San Francisco 49ers and probably several games after that.
“I have all my range of motion,” said Claiborne, who sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder during last season’s opener and had offseason surgery to repair it. “The biggest thing is the pain. Can you tolerate the pain? The pain is there and it’s not going anywhere.”
Claiborne’s career trajectory hasn’t gone anywhere in his first two seasons. He plans for that to change this year despite standing on the sideline for the entire preseason again.