Jadeveon Clowney's rookie season is finished.
The Texans placed the outside linebacker on injured reserve Thursday because of a knee injury.
"He will have surgery on his right knee," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "We think it's in the best interests of JD, and our team right now, to do that."
The first overall pick played in four games this season, logging three tackles for loss and seven total tackles. Since being drafted in early May, the former South Carolina Gamecock underwent June surgery for a sports hernia, missed a pair of preseason games because of a concussion, and had knee surgery in early September after suffering an injury in Week 1.
"As soon as he is able to, he will start rehabbing his knee," O'Brien said. "He will rehab very hard and he'll be back at some point in the near future."
Clowney came back from the Week 1 knee injury in the Week 8 win at Tennessee, but didn't play the following week against Philadelphia because of soreness. He started the next two games against Cleveland and Cincinnati, but was out for last Sunday's contest against the Titans at home.
Defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel stressed that the outside linebackers in lieu of Clowney will have to continue to contribute. Crennel also said the move to IR is unfortunate, but necessary.
"That's all we can do, is hope that he can get healthy," Crennel said. "Because when he's healthy, we know what he's capable of."
Whitney Mercilus has started in Clowney's place while the rookie missed eight games. Mercilus has four sacks, seven tackles for loss and 10 quarterback hits this season.