The Houston Texans' preparations for their AFC Wild Card Game against the Kansas City Chiefs were interrupted by controversy on Saturday, when it was reported linebacker Jadeveon Clowney left NRG Stadium because of a disagreement with head coach Bill O'Brien.
ESPN's Lisa Salters, via colleague Kevin Seifert, reported on Saturday that Clowney "stormed out of [the] Texans locker room and left [the] stadium when deactivated." ESPN's Ed Werder reported Clowney was "visibly upset" with O'Brien's decision not to activate him for the playoff game.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported Clowney left the stadium to take tickets to his family and has known he wasn't going to be active since Wednesday.
“I didn’t walk out on my team,” Clowney said, per McClain. “I stayed here and watched the game.”
The former No. 1 overall pick returned to practice on Jan. 7 in preparation for the Texans' playoff game against the Chiefs.
Per Cody Stoots of CBS Houston, O'Brien said Thursday that Clowney was moving around well but was still being listed as "day-to-day" leading into Saturday's playoff battle.
Werder added Saturday afternoon that O'Brien was "skeptical" about Clowney being ready to go when he arrived at the stadium and wanted "to be sure he would get enough plays" before putting him on the field.
Injuries have had a huge impact on Clowney's brief NFL career. The former South Carolina standout has missed a total of 15 games in two seasons, including three this year, and his overall performance has not been what anyone expected when the Texans drafted him first overall.
Clowney did have 4.5 sacks and six passes defensed in 13 games this season, but he was only able to start nine of those games. John Simon has become one of Houston's primary outside linebackers/edge-rushers in Clowney's absence.
The Texans have gotten accustomed to playing without Clowney, so Saturday wasn't going to be a new challenge for the team. However, the Texans ended up losing to the Chiefs, 30-0.