Clowney practicing but still limited

Clowney practicing but still limited
July 26, 2014, 12:00 pm
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(USA Today Images)

Jadeveon Clowney previously said he wasn’t sure if he would be ready for training camp but the No. 1 overall pick was on the field working out with his teammates as Texans’ camp kicked off at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Clowney, who underwent sports hernia surgery on June 12 in Philadelphia, was limited in practice and said he isn’t yet 100 percent healthy. He was asked to put a number on his health but declined.

“No percentage but I know I ain’t 100 percent,” Clowney said.

The 6-5, 266-pound linebacker was able to do position drills and a portion of team drills. He did sit out some team drills, however.

“I’m just letting the trainers take it one day at a time,” Clowney said. “I’m just trying to get back, get back for the first game.”

The Texans will put on shoulder pads on Monday for their first contact practice. Clowney said he would like to be able to participate in those contact drills but isn’t sure if he will be allowed to. That decision will be left up to the trainers.

“We’ll see where we are when we get to that day,” head coach Bill O’Brien said.

Clowney stayed in Houston during the four week break between mandatory minicamp and training camp. He began to run two or three weeks after his surgery, he said. During the last four weeks, he worked out, continued to study the playbook and got treatment to recover from his sports hernia surgery.

Clowney missed a couple days of OTAs and the entire mandatory minicamp in June because of the groin injury but he said he’s comfortable with where he’s at learning his new position. Clowney, now an outside linebacker in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense, played defensive end at South Carolina.

“I’m a lot better than where I was,” Clowney said. “I learned a lot of the playbook already. Coach already said that we looked good out there so we just have to keep pushing and keep getting better every day.”

Clowney said his biggest goal during training camp is to be teammate he can be, echoing the battle cry of the Bill O’Brien Era.

The 21-year-old rookie was happy to see the best player in franchise history out on the fields for the first day of practice on Saturday.

“Very exciting,” Clowney said of having Andre Johnson back. “I talked to him when he got back. I said ‘I’m glad you’re back.’ And he started smiling. It was funny, a joke, but I’m glad he’s back.”