Ian Rapoport with some bad news for the Texans today on Jadeveon Clowney's injury status.
Source: #Texans star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney is OUT for today's game. Significant blow.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 9, 2016
Assuming this is true--and there's no real reason to think it isn't--the Texans will need December's AFC Defensive Player of the Month Whitney Mercilus to step up even more as Robin to J.J. Watt's SuperBatSpiderIronHulk.
This can have major implications on the Texans' defense.
It means more playing time for John Simon. He's a poor tackler, and both Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware can slip out of tackles. Additionally, he'll have to contain the edge when the Chiefs run the zone read.
Without Clowney, Houston may lose the chance to spy with Whitney Mercilus. Alex Smith has been great as a runner this year, and takes off when nothing is open. The Texans may use Simon in this role, and maybe forced to use Mercilus as a pass rusher. This can open up scrambles for Smith because again, Simon is a poor tackler.
The Texans' pass rush is already at a disadvantage because of the quick passing game the Chiefs utilize. If Houston can get a lead, and force Kansas City to take deeper pass sets this will change. Kansas City has a weak offensive line, and opportunities are there to exploit it. This chance of exploitation diminishes some without Clowney, who has started to turn flashes of potential into tangible results.
Lastly, it's infuriating to have this much talent wasted on nagging injuries. Clowney didn't play last week because of a foot injury. The idea was for him to rest it, and then play this week. That much off time wasn't enough. Yet again, the Texans have a sports car wallowing in the garage, instead of zipping around corners.