Bill O’Brien has reaffirmed once again that former first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney is still on schedule to play in the regular season opener in in two weeks.
The return of Clowney is obviously a huge potential boost for a defense that has an alarmingly underwhelming pass rush when J.J. Watt is not on the field. Even if Clowney only plays limited snaps as he continues to get up to speed – which, to be honest, is likely what will happen anyway – those few moments of fire and brimstone could make all the difference against a very good Chiefs team. Jamaal Charles isn’t going to tackle himself, after all…though maybe his own offensive line will just do it for us again.
The only team that can stop Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs. pic.twitter.com/EvZxIdcC0M— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) August 22, 2015
Kansas City may also be without both of their starting offensive tackles in Week One as left tackle Eric Fisher battles a high ankle sprain and right tackle Jeff Allen has an MCL sprain. Even if both of them do end up playing, it is conceivable that neither one of them will be 100% ready to go when facing the duo of Clowney and Watt. I would put the advantage firmly with Watt against a completely healthy Eric Fisher, let alone a hobbled one. Either way, it seems as though the Texans have a decent chance of catching a severely understaffed Chiefs team to open the season. No less than four starters are questionable and/or suspended (Fisher, Allen, Dontari Poe, and Sean Smith), and an additional three starters are coming off of a serious injury or life-threatening medical issue (Derrick Johnson, Mike Devito, and Eric Berry). Whether the Texans win or lose this game, you should expect the Chiefs to be a hell of a lot stronger at the end of the season than they are at the beginning.
The schedule gods have smiled upon us.