When Jadeveon Clowney emerged from South Carolina, the red flags were flying. And the Texans ignored them. Maybe they wish they hadn’t.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Texans are getting “frustrated” with Clowney, who may miss Sunday’s game with an illness. Rapoport adds that the Texans want Clowney to “grow up” and be “more mature.”
Perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes, but Clowney already has dealt with a lot. He had a sports hernia that required surgery in June — and he didn’t milk it at all during training camp. He tore a meniscus in his regular-season debut, potentially due to the franchise’s failure to provide the players with a sufficient field.
While it’s possible that he could play through his current illness (not enough about the illness is known to know whether he can), it seems odd that the Texans already would be frustrated with a guy who has had legitimate conditions and injuries. It’s even more odd that they’d admit it, since it’s not as if there wasn’t a risk that Clowney wouldn’t work as hard as he needs to in order to thrive at the NFL level.
His college coach questioned Clowney’s work ethic, for crying out loud. The warnings were there, and the Texans knew it. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been dangling the pick before the draft. If they hadn’t asked for so much in trade, Clowney could have been someone else’s problem right now.
The problem could get worse if Clowney suspects that the team is leaking these concerns to the media company the team partially owns in order to get him to step up. While the report may provoke a response from Clowney, it may not be the one they’re hoping for.