The defense faltered late as the Houston Texans tried to hold Aaron Rodgers and company at bay, resulting in close loss to the Green Bay Packers. The defensive unit held the Packers to 156 total yards during the first three quarters but gave up 153 in the 4th quarter, when Rodgers had time to pick a part the defense.
A big reason for the defensive struggles was due to the team not having Jadeveon Clowney on the field. Clowney was left back in Houston due to a wrist and elbow injury which limited him the majority of the week during practice. The decision came down on Saturday that he would not be on the flight to Green Bay. Clowney has a cast on his left wrist which creates some cause for concern.
"Look, he's beat up," explained Bill O'Brien. ”He really didn't practice much during the week. We felt, not him, that he wasn't ready to play. We'd like to get him ready to play the following week instead of losing him for the rest of the season. So, I thought that was the right decision." O'Brien also added that Clowney wanted to play in the game against the Packers but the Texans were not changing their minds with his current injury.
The Texans are playing it smart with Clowney, especially after losing J.J. Watt for the season after he rushed back from back surgery along with the absence of John Simon due to a chest injury. Simon is expected to return this season and, with Clowney’s current injury situation, the team was not going to risk further injury.
The Texans do expect Clowney back for next week against the Indianapolis Colts.
With four AFC games left on the schedule and three of those games against AFC South opponents, the Texans are giving Clowney time to heal instead of forcing the issue.