The Texans Should Ease Jadeveon Clowney Into The 2015 Season
A few weeks ago at the AFC Coaches breakfast in Phoenix, Bill O’Brien informed the media there wasn’t a timetable for Clowney’s return but is hoping to have him back on the field at some point during training camp.
When this news came out I was really surprised that O’Brien gave any kind of information other than a standard answer about Clowney working hard and improving. NFL coaches are usually reluctant to give too much information about player injuries and especially about return dates because of the possibility of players not being ready in time.
O’Brien on numerous occasions last season made it a point to say that the organization is very high on Clowney, and that he is a hard worker. O’Brien is having Clowney’s back by doing this likely because the Texans are aware of a ridiculous narrative about Clowney being lazy or not caring about football.
You know that O’Brien is clearly supporting Clowney after hearing OB torch Louis Nix multiple times already.
This is only adds to why I continue to be confused with how the Texans are handling Clowney’s knee injuries. I don’t understand why O’Brien and the Texans are deciding to add a little bit of pressure on Clowney to make his return a month or so earlier than expected.
It was too easy for O’Brien to give the media an “update” on Clowney’s return without mentioning any kind of timetable. It just seems uncharacteristic for O’Brien to not only give a time frame but for it to also be an early one.
Microfracture knee surgery is a very serious procedure that has a lot less success stories compared to torn ACL recoveries. In most cases, especially for NBA players who have the Microfracture surgery never regain their old form, or anywhere close to it.
When Clowney had the surgery in December there was a 9-month recovery time for his return which would have had him coming back possibly in late September. Recovery from Microfracture surgery can be a 6-12 month process.
I want for Clowney to comeback at as close to 100% as he can get. He might not ever be the super athletic monster that he was in college before all the injuries started happening but with what little we know it sounds like Clowney is recovery well.
If Clowney can reach at least 85-90% of what he could have been it will still be special to see him and Watt on the same defensive front terrorizing opposing teams offenses.
This is why I would even support the decision of putting Clowney on the physically unable to perform list to start the season and let him come back after the first six games.
Why not bring Clowney back when he is back at full strength physically and mentally ? I don’t think having Clowney return during training camp is worth risking a potential setback.
The Texans would know best on Clowney’s progress and his knee, but I can’t be fully confident in their decision making with Clowney after his comeback from the Meniscus procedure.
When Clowney returned from his meniscus tear he was still experiencing some pain. But the Texans were trying to have him push through it before finally shutting him down completely to have the microfracture surgery. It has been said that the Texans knew that Microfracture surgery could be required if the meniscus procedure didn’t fix his knee issue.
The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain had caught up with Clowney at the Galleria, and gave some very interesting quotes.
McClain asked Clowney about the possibility of returning to the field ahead of schedule during training camp, and Clowney said “I’m not going to speak on that , but I’m making progress, and I’m very encouraged. I’m working hard, but we’re not going to rush it.”
Clowney’s quotes also included “Things are starting to come together just like I hoped they would” and “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
You should be able to notice that there is a big difference in how O’Brien and Clowney addressed the questions of Clowney’s return. It is almost as if they did a role reversal because O’Brien is the one that is not supposed to give too much information on a timetable for return. Clowney is supposed to be the loose lipped one regarding injures like he was on a few occasions early last season.
If Clowney is saying he isn’t going to rush things and that hes taking it one day at a time, shouldn’t O’Brien be saying the same type of thing ? Why is Clowney being somewhat cautious but O’Brien is telling the media about a possible earlier than anticipated return?
I really like O’Brien as the coach but I’m not on board with how he is going about this situation, and I was definitely not a fan of how he, as part of the Texans Organization handled Andre Johnson’s departure.
The Texans didn’t get much contribution from their 2014 draft class which O’Brien undoubtedly had a major part in. It should be in the best interest of Clowney and the Texans to handle the situation with a little bit more finesse and not to rush him back to the field.