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Houston Texans Injury Update: Clowney Rising; McKinney and Su'a-Filo "OUT"

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The third preseason game has the Texans heading to New Orleans to play the Saints on Sunday, and a couple of key players will not be on the field. See the latest news on Battle Red Blog.

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The Texans are still trying to fill the massive void left by running back Arian Foster when he was injured early in training camp.  Chris Polk is making an effort to take on that role during Foster's absence.  Meanwhile, two more players will be missing time due to injury:

--Linebacker Benardrick McKinney suffered a sprained MCL during the recent preseason game against the Denver Broncos, and may not be back until the first game of the regular season.

--Offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo is still recovering from an ankle injury, but may be back in time for the final preseason game against Dallas.

Bill O'Brien commented on both of these players during the press conference after practice on Wednesday:

(On how McKinney is doing)

"I think he’s doing okay. I think he’s really working hard to get back. I don’t know if he’ll be back for the Dallas game, but I know he wants to get back. He’s chomping at the bit to be back and I think he’s doing better."

(On Su'a-Filo)

"I would say hopefully we get Xavier back to playing the last preseason game. He will not play this week. Hopefully, we would get him back to be able to play against Dallas. That’s the hope. Now, I wouldn’t etch it in stone because, again, he’s injured. There’s no doubt about the fact that he’s injured and he’s trying really hard to get back. A great kid, we believe in Xavier and we’re hoping he can get back to be able to play in the game against Dallas."

Jadeveon Clowney Update

Bill O'Brien is confident that Clowney is going to be ready for the first regular season game when the Texans host the Chiefs.  A reporter asked if Clowney was on track to play in the season opener, and O'Brien answered with a simple: "Yes."  Then he expanded with:

"Sure, I think he’s doing well. I think we’ve got a good plan in place for him from a medical perspective putting him into practice. You guys are out there, you see him, a little bit more every day. I think yesterday he had a certain amount of reps, today he had a little bit more. He wants to be in there more which is a great sign. That means he’s probably feeling pretty good, and a lot of that has to do with how he’s feeling, with how the knee is feeling. I think he feels decent and he’s worked hard to get back to this point. We’ll just keep inching him forward to be able to go in that first game."

The Mothership provided an extensive list of quotes from Jadeveon Clowney, including one where he seemed a bit surprised by his head coach's comment when it was revealed to him by reporters:

"Oh Bill said that, huh? It’s pretty good. I’m working hard, coming out here with the team. We’re doing good. I’m feeling good. I just got to keep working and getting better and better every day. Hopefully, leading up to me playing in the first game."

(on if he is surprised by how well he has responded since surgery)

"No, I put in the work, so I knew it was going to pay off."

(on what he’s liked about the last few days)

"Really just not paying attention to my knee. Everything else is just playing football. It’s going to come together. I’m not worried about that part. Just out here getting the work in really. Being out there, getting the plays in, learning the defense even more better than I do now. That right there I was looking forward to. Just being out there, running through the defense helped me a lot. Now, it’s just being out there."

(on how much he trusts his knee)

"I think I’ve been trusting my knee for a while. I just got to go out there and play. I’m out there now just worried about playing football. I don’t worry about my knee. I think it’s doing well. I put in the work. I worked hard on it. I trust it now. I’m just here to play football."

(on if he has ever been off the field for this long)

"No, never. I told the guys, I’m rusty. I’m just trying to get as many reps as I can. I tell the coach to put me in as much as possible, but they’re not trying to really rush me back right now. We’re just taking it one day at a time, working me in slow. I’m still trying to get as many reps as I can, so I can be ready for the game."

(on if he’s thought about the feeling of taking the field again)

"No, I’m just going to be - it’ll come. We’ll see."

(on if he will be ready to play in every situation when he returns)

"I think I’m going to be ready for all situations. Pretty much wherever they put me in or whenever they want me to play, I’ll be ready."

(on if he is hoping to play in the preseason)

"We’re on a schedule right now. We talked about a schedule and we’re probably going to stick to that schedule. Practice reps are getting me right. I think practice is going to do it and we’re doing good at practice. I’m getting a lot of reps, mental reps, on the field reps, and I think it’s going to do good for me when I get into the game."

(on learning the defense after missing his rookie season)

"When I learn something about a defense, it really just sticks to me. I learned a lot my first year and it kind of just stuck to me. The second year I learned even more and all of it is just sticking to me. I’m just like playing football now. You’ll be a better football player if you know what you got going on and about what the other guys around you are doing. It kind of makes you a better football player."

(on if he is comfortable in the defense now)

"Yeah, I’m much more comfortable."

(on what it will be like playing with DE J.J. Watt and NT Vince Wilfork)

"Yeah, we just try to control the line of scrimmage. That’s what we’re here to do. Rush the passer, control the line of scrimmage, and get knock back and make plays."

(on if he tried to do too much during his rookie season)

"I think I was just trying to do a lot too as a rookie. I was just trying to prove to the guys that I was worthy of being the number one pick. Just coming in here and assumed to be a leader around here because I was that number one pick. I was trying to do just about everything and trying to do it to my best, but you know, you try to overdue stuff sometimes and overthink some things. You got to slow down and play the game sometimes."

(on how he is going to play this season)

"Just have fun. I’m just out there having fun. Learn during practice, learn what to do during practice. Then in the games, I’m just having fun, playing my assignment, and doing my job."

(on if he is excited to hit people)

"Yeah, I’m having fun out there now. I’m hitting everybody, talking junk. That’s what I do. I’m loving it."

(on what his trash talking is like)

"You don’t want none of that right now. You don’t want to hear none of that."

(on how excited he is to play with the rest of his teammates)

"I think we’ve got a talented defense. Just being out there with guys I looked up to. When Vince (Wilfork) came in, I talked to him a lot. I was just like ‘Man, I’m happy to be beside you.’ I watched him play when I was in college and I was like ‘Man, that guy’s big and takes two on him. If I can play beside a guy like that and I can get one block, I know I can beat one guy.’ Playing beside him now, I just get a chance to open up and have a good front."

(on if he has a goal for the number of sacks he wants this season)

"No sack numbers. I’m just here to have fun and make plays."