The season is almost over for the Houston Texans and their final game holds no significance. The campaign has been plagued by injuries and that brings forward an intriguing proposition. Should the Texans keep Jadeveon Clowney out of action in Week 17?
Keeping franchise players out of action to avoid injury is nothing new. However most teams that explore this option are getting ready for the playoffs and not the off-season. Teams that literally have nothing to play for do not utilize this strategy. These teams usually prefer to end the season on a high note and win the final game. It might be wise to avoid this practice and keep Clowney out.
Prior to the 2016 season Clowney was fighting the injury-prone label. This was due to only appearing in four games as a rookie and 13 the following year (starting nine). In 2016 Clowney appeared in 14 games finally broke out. This season Clowney has appeared in all 15 games for the Texans and continued his high level of play. Even though he has been able to avoid injury this season, the Texans still have to be careful.
Season-ending injuries to Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus derailed the Texans season. A serious injury at this point in time could put next season in jeopardy for Clowney. This is the last thing that Houston needs right now. Watson, Watt and Mercilus should all be ready to go to start next season. If Clowney were to suffer a serious injury it is doubtful he will be ready to start next season.
At this point Houston is playing for the future. The final score Sunday has little bearing on next season. It is imperative that the Texans keep Clowney healthy and do not expose him to a situation where he could get seriously hurt. Especially considering his injury history. Clowney’s health needs to be a priority and keeping him out of action is the best way to preserve it.