A week after Jadeveon Clowney's return to practice following microfracture surgery on his right knee, the Houston Texans are ready to see more from the linebacker.
Houston head coach Bill O'Brien said the team plans to increase Clowney's workload in practice.
"We'll do a little bit more with him in practice," O'Brien said, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. "I've been pleased with the way he has reacted and practiced with the plan that we've had for him so far. He's eager to get out there. One of the good signs with him is that he'll come up to us and say, 'Can I do more? I'd like to be in that drill,' because he sees the competition and he'd like to be in more, but we have to stick to the medical plan. I'm definitely pleased with how he's approached it so far."
Wilson notes the increase in practice reps will likely result in more full-team drills for Clowney.
The top overall pick in the 2014 draft, Clowney's rookie season was derailed by injuries, including a sports hernia, a concussion, a knee injury that ultimately required season-ending surgery. The former South Carolina star had just seven tackles and no sacks last year.
"I think the second year is big with a lot of guys," O'Brien said. "I think the rookie year can be tough especially when you go through a lot of injuries. Pro football is a lot different, just learning how to get around the city of Houston, live here, all those different things. Plus, play pro football. It's a big adjustment for certain guys. I think JD, all those things kind of hovered over him last year.
"He had three injuries, sports hernia, concussion and the knee, and I think he's really had a good offseason to the point where, yeah, he has turned the corner. I wouldn't even talk about it being maturity or anything, I think it's more about, 'Okay, I went through some tough times and I've really come a long way since those tough times and I think I can really be a good player for this team.' and I think he has come a long way in that regard."
(h/t Houston Chronicle)