Jadeveon Clowney has had his fair share of injuries since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2014 by the Houston Texans, who hope he’s already met his career quota.
General manager Rick Smith, who says Clowney has been “pretty disruptive, pretty impactful” on the field when healthy, wants to believe it’s possible.
“It’s just that he has suffered some injuries, which you would hope is that he’s already had as many as he needs to have, right? Just from a standpoint of luck, hopefully the guy has had his share of injuries and he will have an opportunity to play for an extended amount of time because I think what you see, when you see him on the field, you see productive play,” Smith said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
That Clowney has been bitten by the injury bug since entering the league is well known. He missed 12 games as a rookie after needing microfracture surgery, a meniscus arthroscopic procedure, sports hernia surgery and a concussion. After making his way back from that harrowing ordeal, he struggled to stay on the field last year with ankle and back issues.
The team is seeing a renewed focus out of Clowney to make the most out of himself this offseason, as linebackers coach Mike Vrabel explained.
“He’s determined,” Vrabel said of Clowney. “That takes a lot of work. It’s a physical league. It’s a tough grind. He’s been out there like all of our guys. When you’re out here, you get better. When you’re in the meetings and you’re engaged, you get better.”
Clowney surely has his work cut out for him to avoid being dubbed a bust. The Texans had a chance to land a top quarterback in 2014. Blake Bortles, Derek Carr and Teddy Bridgewater were there for the taking, but Houston opted instead to go with the high-ceiling pass rusher out of South Carolina.
To this point, he’s shown flashes of stardom but has been vastly outplayed by many of his peers from the 2014 NFL Draft class. Staying on the field will go a long way towards helping Clowney shrug off the bust label and live up to his billing as the No. 1 selection in 2014.