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Jadeveon Clowney returns to practice, ready to play vs. Saints

After missing a week of training camp with a sore left knee, outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney said he feels “fine” and is ready to play Saturday against the New Orleans Saints.

The former No. 1 overall draft pick said he has been frustrated by missing a week of practice after working hard to be back healthy this season.

“You come back, you train hard in the offseason then all of a sudden, boom, something happens and you’re done,” Clowney said. “You have to take a step back, ramp it back up and keep going.”

Jadeveon Clowney

Clowney has played in just 17 of 32 games in his first two NFL seasons. He missed time last season with Lisfranc sprain in his right foot and an injured back. During his rookie season, Clowney needed two surgeries after suffering a knee injury in his first NFL game.

In an effort to keep his knees healthier this offseason, Clowney did yoga and martial arts and changed his diet, which helped him go from 284 pounds last season to 265 at the start of training camp. The weight loss also helped Clowney’s speed and endurance.

“Speed and quickness are probably the best advantages you can have in this game,” Clowney said. “Everybody is strong and everybody is smart. You have to be quick with your speed. Everything moves fast. That’s a big thing. When you’re going against bigger and stronger guys, you have to use your quickness and speed against them.”

This will be Clowney’s third NFL season, and he said he feels at home in the Texans’ system.

“This group taught me a lot about growing and just becoming professional,” Clowney said. “I learned more football here than I think I’ve ever learned in my life. I’m still young, still growing and still learning. I learn something new every day here.”

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