Jadeveon Clowney Injury: Updates on Texans Star's Back and Return

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured Columnist

Oct 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) shown on the field prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Texans pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney was forced to the locker room because of a back injury suffered against the Tennessee Titans in Week 8. He did not play in Week 10, but he is ready to return.

Continue for updates.

Clowney Active for Week 11

Sunday, Nov. 22

The Texans announced that Clowney was not on the inactive list against the New York Jets.

Latest on Clowney's Practice Status

Friday, Nov. 20

The Texans announced that Clowney was a full participant in Friday's session.

O'Brien Comments on Clowney's Recovery, Potential Return

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Head coach Bill O'Brien said he expected Clowney to return this week, but said the team "will have to see," per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle

When asked whether or not Clowney would be starting when he returns, O'Brien continued, "We play the guys that practice well. If you don’t practice well, you’re not going to play."

Clowney Avoids Major Injury

Monday, Nov. 2

NFL Network's Rand Getlin reported that Clowney's back injury "isn't thought to be serious" and that he is "just sore." Wilson reported that Clowney's "lower back injury is just muscular in nature, no structural damage." 

Clowney Returns to Locker Room vs. Titans

Sunday, Nov. 1

Tania Ganguli of ESPN noted Clowney's exit in the first half as he continues to deal with a back injury. Clowney had previously returned to the game after going to the locker room, as Wilson noted. 

"Clowney, who missed a game this season with a sprained right ankle, hurt his back and went to the sideline limping. After being examined by trainers, Clowney went back into the game and then got hurt again making a tackle," added Wilson.

Clowney Struggling to Live Up to Expectations

Clowney entered the league to much fanfare as the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft, but his rookie season was derailed by a knee ailment that cost him all but four games. He recorded just seven tackles and didn't register a single sack. In fact, Clowney didn't record his first career NFL sack until Week 7 this season.

There was some concern regarding Clowney's status ahead of the 2015 campaign, but he was able to work his way back in time for the start of the season. He showed some flashes of brilliance during the first five games that hearkened back to his time with South Carolina as well.

The 22-year-old linebacker began to draw praise from some of the league's best players, such as Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, per Mark Berman of Fox 26 KRIV:

Mark Berman @MarkBermanFox26

Falcons receiver Julio Jones referred to Jadeveon Clowney as a game-wrecker. #Texans

He earned that reputation thanks to plays such as this one against running back Frank Gore and the Indianapolis Colts, as provided by NFL Network:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

Jadeveon Clowney brought Gore down with a single hand. Wow. #INDvsHOU http://t.co/E6ujp0Q1lU

Unfortunately for Clowney, he suffered an injury in that game that required him to wear a walking boot. That was on top of minor knee and shoulder ailments that were already nagging him, according to Wilson.

Houston's defense could be dominant with a healthy Clowney and J.J. Watt in the fold, but the former part of that equation hasn't been present nearly enough.

The Texans' pass rush has suffered because of that and will continue to do so as Clowney struggles with injury.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.


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