Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net has spoken to a number of people around the league regarding Texans OLB Jadeveon Clowney who said there is “serious concern” about his future following microfracture knee surgery.
According to Pauline, he’s heard everything from “don’t expect much from Clowney in 2015, to the belief he may struggle to ever regain full health from the microfracture surgery.”
The fact that Clowney underwent the procedure at such an early age is one of the reasons why some are concerned about Clowney’s long-term future.
A few months ago, Jason Cole reported that there is “grave concern” about Clowney’s long-term future in the NFL, so this is something that has come up in the past.
Houston wound up placing Clowney on the season-ending injured reserve list back in December after he underwent the microfracture surgery.
The expectation is that Clowney will miss nine months recovering from the procedure, and the possibility exists that he could miss a portion of the 2015 season. That’s by no means guaranteed, but there’s at least a chance that he could miss a game or two.
Cole mentions that even after Clowney finishes his long rehab, his future workload could be limited given that this type of injury can wear down the scar tissue in his knee that is essentially working as cartilage.
The doctors who spoke to Cole pointed out that scar tissue wears down much faster than cartilage does, which means that players at his position are “highly unlikely” to a have a long career.
According to Cole’s sources, there is a better chance that the Texans will get something close to 4-6 productive years from the 2014 No. 1 overall pick. There is also some question about how effective Clowney can be after undergoing this type of surgery.
Cole pointed to Buccaneers DE Da’Quan Bowers as a player who was once highly touted, but his knee injury has impacted his ability to live up to the expectations for him coming out of Clemson.
It’s worth mentioning that players have gone on to have decent careers after this kind of procedure, but there are plenty more that have seen their productivity drop off following microfracture surgery.
Clowney recorded just seven tackles and no sacks over the course of four games. Pro Football Focus has Clowney down for playing 132 snaps this season to go along with a below-average rating of -2.2.