It's a refrain that's become so common that it's almost laughable: If Jadeveon Clowney can just stay healthy, if he can just stay on the field, he could have a monstrous year in 2016.
To paraphrase Don Meredith, if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas.
OLB Jadeveon Clowney and C Nick Martin missing 3rd consecutive practice with undisclosed injuries. Both r at practice but not participating— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 9, 2016
Nevertheless, Bill O'Brien urges us not to reach for the pitchforks and torches just yet.
Bill O'Brien on another missed day for Clowney: don't make too much out of it. #TexansCamp— Greg Bailey (@GregBailey13) August 9, 2016
Take that for what you will. Is the team simply keeping the first overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft in bubble wrap, figuring it's not worth potentially aggravating a minor injury for the sake of practice reps? Perhaps. Regardless, Clowney's injury history is voluminous enough that every missed practice, much less three in a row, is bound to cause a spike in the fan base's collective hysteria. That said, you won't hear me freaking out until Clowney is missing regular season games. If (note that I didn't use "when"...yet) that happens again this season, the din about his inability to withstand the grind of an NFL season will be deafening.
While it'll surely get lost in the news of Clowney's situation, I am a bit concerned that Nick Martin, who the Texans are likely counting on to start at center, is missing this kind of time during his first professional training camp. You'd want him working non-stop with Brock Osweiler even if Martin was a veteran, but missing these kind of reps as a rookie, and certainly as a projected starter on an offensive line that could struggle finding chemistry with its starting tackles out for nearly all of camp, is frightening.
What's your immediate reaction to this news?
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