If you had the same experience as I did, you're probably doing the cleans the wrong way by using your arms. Have a buddy watch you to see whether your elbows bend at any point below your shoulders. If so, you're using the arms/shoulders instead of the legs, back, traps. Also check to make sure that the bar is travelling straight up. If it is coming out from your body, then, this puts incredibly strain on your rotator cuffs. They weren't built (or aren't developed enough) to carry that weight. So good technique should allow you to do cleans.
As for upright rows, I'd just stay off them. Your tendonitis is probably related more to your rotator cuffs. Get a good PT to work with you.
Rotator cuffs are very weak in most people and are small muscles anyway. 10-15lbs is what most people use for strengthening exercises.