Jadeveon Clowney will play against the Chiefs.
Bill O'Brien doesn't know how much, but he's certain the outside linebacker will make an impact.
All offseason and preseason, the head coach repeatedly praised the discipline and determination Clowney showed in the return from knee microfracture surgery. But in a Monday press conference, O'Brien was
talkative about Clowney's smarts.
"I've always felt good about him mentally, as far as the X's and O's," O'Brien said. "He's a very bright football player."
At 6-feet-5 inches and 266 pounds, Clowney ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash at the 2014 NFL Combine. His 'measurables' are often the first thing mentioned when his name is discussed. But O'Brien's been impressed with what he's seen from the former South Carolina Gamecock in the meeting room with linebacker coach Mike Vrabel.
"When he fires questions at Jadeveon, the guy knows the answers," O'Brien said. "Our defense, it's not always the easiest thing to pick that thing up, especially when you're not practicing. Clearly, he has good football intelligence."
Clowney appeared in four games in 2014, as he was slowed and then ultimately shut down, because of a knee injury. He's practiced with the Texans since August 17, and said he's not feeling any pain in his knee.
The players are off on Tuesday, and will return to practice Wednesday at the Houston Methodist Training Center.