HOUSTON (CBS RADIO) – The highly anticipated of Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney was felt throughout practice Monday, especially by his teammates.
“It’s great for him to back on the field with us and just get back to football stuff and not so much of rehabbing and just trying to get back healthy,” cornerback Kareem Jackson said after Monday’s practice. “To to have him back out here just shows how hard he worked to get back to where he is now and he’ll continue to work and continue to get healthy and he’ll be ready to go.”
“It’s great to see a guy that’s been through so much in one year, and seeing him back on the field and all the hard work he’s done on and off the field,” Texans center Ben Jones said. “Just happy to have him back out there.”
Fourth-year linebacker Whitney Mercilus could sense Clowney’s excitement to get back for quite some time.
“He just wanted to be part of the group instead of being all the way over on the other side of the field,” Mercilus said. “He wants to be in with the guys, playing in there, passing rushing and playing the run and things like that.
“He’s going to help a whole lot with his size and talent and all that,” Mercilus added. “He also give us a little bit more depth as well. We’re just looking forward to having him back and working him slowly right now.”
Texans inside linebacker Brian Cushing can appreciated what Clowney has gone through. The 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year had his last two seasons ended by serious knee injuries and has had to go through extensive rehab to make it back on the field for the next season.
“I know what it’s like. I did it twice,” Cushing said. “It’s not easy. There’s a lot of dark days and repetitive hard work that has to go into it. The hardest part’s over for him. Now it’s the fun part of getting back and playing football with the guys.”
Cushing said he and Clowney talked a lot throughout the process.
“The most importing thing and biggest thing for you mentally is playing again and he’s back out here,” Cushing said. “You can already tell the difference the way he’s walking around and the way he’s approaching the game.”