The news out of Houston isn’t rosy today, as the decision has been made that Houston Texans shelve Jadeveon Clowney so the top overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft can undergo season-ending knee surgery.
Clowney has been plagued by injuries since he finished his college career last winter, though none seemed so bad that it would cost him his rookie season. Clowney had sports hernia surgery in June, missed part of the preseason due to a concussion, had arthroscopic knee surgery early in the season to repair his meniscus, missed the Texans’ 21-31 loss to the Eagles with the flu, and hasn’t been right since aggravating his knee weeks ago.
Today the latest Houston Texans news was that the team had decided to shut-down Clowney for the season. Though the outside linebacker could have toughed it out and gone through a series of marginal rehab sessions, the Houston brass decided that declaring his season over now would give the would-be Texans star time to undergo knee surgery to fix the problem once and for all.
All told Clowney has played in just four games this season. Two weeks ago against the Bengals he was in the game for 49 snaps, the most he’s played all year. However, after the game he noticed significant swelling.
“This guy’s been injured and it’s time to clean it up and get him back to feeling good and get him back on the field as soon as we can,” said Texans head coach Bill O’Brien. “He wants to play football. He wants to be good, so I think he was disappointed right off the bat. But I think he understands what he has to do and why this is necessary, and he knows that he has to rehab hard and get back out there.”
In Clowney’s place, the Texans will play Whitney Mercilus, who has started 10 games this season and racked up 43 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble.
Clowney was originally expected to be a key part of one of the NFL’s most imposing defenses. Along with JJ Watt, who’s been playing lights-out defense and managed some TDs on offense this season, Clowney was going to present a brutal one-two punch for Houston.
Instead, Watt has had to anchor a Houston defense that allows 382.2 total yards per game, 27th in the NFL. Though the Texans perform better against the rush — 111.9 yards allowed per game, good enough for 16th in the league — their pass defense is almost last at 270.3 yards allowed (30th in the NFL).
While losing Clowney for the season is unfortunate, knowing his season-ending knee surgery could help him ultimately contribute to the Texans’ on-field performance next season will be a welcome outcome.