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On Clowney's surgery, the earlier the better


HOUSTON -- It's natural to be alarmed any time news breaks about a marquee player having surgery.

In the case of Jadeveon Clowney, having surgery right now is better than the alternative. Training camp is still six weeks away.

I remember talking to Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph after he had two sports hernia surgeries after the 2012 season. He said he didn't even realize how much the sports hernias had limited him until he recovered post-surgeries.

O'Brien said Clowney went to see a specialist in Philadelphia, which is where Joseph and outside linebacker Brooks Reed went for surgeries. Reed, who suffered a torn groin in 2012, saw Dr. William Meyers after the season to repair that injury and a sports hernia.

"His office is more, it’s kind of crazy, it’s a big house in a rural part of Philly," Reed said. "There are a lot of other athletes, all of the professional athletes (who) have a similar kind of injury. …When I went there were a bunch of guys I recognized."

Reed returned to Houston the next day to do his rehab here.

I also spoke with ESPN's medical expert Stephania Bell, who said Clowney's is an injury that typically takes four to six weeks to heal. She said if he tried to deal with a nagging groin injury during the season, it would reduce his power significantly.

The Texans drafted Clowney first overall because of his tremendous athletic ability and their confidence he would successfully make the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. To have the full benefit of his once-in-a-decade athleticism, they need him unhampered by physical ailments.

Sure, it's not ideal to have Clowney missing the on-field reps next week during mandatory minicamp, in addition to the ones he already missed this week. But you'd rather have that than have him out during a no-pads session, out during the season, or even play through it and spend the season managing the pain.

So far the Texans have liked Clowney's progress and how hard he has worked to learn his new defense. This is the best way to ensure all of that work doesn't go to waste.