As I touched on a little bit earlier, arguably Clowney’s biggest flaws on the football field, is the fact that he’s not always out there. Throughout his impressive young career thus far, the former first overall pick has definitely been bitten by the injury bug on more than a few occasions.
In 2014, Clowney played through a sports hernia during his last season at South Carolina and underwent surgery in June. He missed a week of training camp due to a concussion and then underwent another surgery for a torn lateral meniscus in his knee in September.
He then missed the last five games in 2014 dealing with complications from his September surgery which was supposed to repair a torn meniscus. In December, he eventually had microfracture surgery on that same knee.
In 2015, Clowney suffered a Grade 2 ankle sprain, lower lumbar sprain in his back, along with a Lisfranc sprain all in the span of three months.
In 2016, he suffered an elbow sprain in December. The talented defensive end once again underwent arthroscopic surgery in his knee following the 2016 season and another arthroscopic knee surgery after the 2017 season.
The former Texan missed time with a lower back injury in 2018, he also played through a core muscle injury in 2019 with the Seahawks and had successful surgery in January that he is rumored to be fully recovered from.
Clowney is only 27 years old and hasn’t let his nagging injuries stop him from disrupting offenses whenever he steps in between those white lines, but his injury history is something to be cautious about going forward as teams must decide how much gas they think a physical specimen like Clowney still has in the tank.
Since the Texans drafted Clowney with the top overall pick in 2014, he has only played a full 16-game regular season once (2017), and has appeared in a total of 75 of 96 possible career regular-season games.
If the Titans do in fact sign Clowney, you have to mentally prepare for the reality that there is a chance that he will miss a few games at the very least.