Jadeveon Clowney returned to action, and did so with an impact.
The third-year outside linebacker – a star at Rock Hill’s South Pointe High School and with the USC Gamecocks – notched a second-quarter sack of Drew Brees, dropping the Saints quarterback for a loss of 14 yards.
Clowney’s disruptiveness was a key in the Texans’ limiting New Orleans to just a trio of field goals in the 16-9 victory.
“It felt real good to be back out there with the team,” Clowney said. “After missing last week, I just wanted to go out there and have fun and win the game.”
The first overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft finished with two tackles, the sack, and a tackle for loss. He missed the preseason opener at San Francisco last week with knee soreness.
“I’m trying to just do what I can for the team,” Clowney said. “Get off the ball. Rush. Try to get to the quarterback.”
Cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who picked off Brees in the first quarter, thought highly of Clowney’s performance.
“He stepped in today and did a tremendous job,” Joseph said. “He’s a tremendous talent. He came in and made some plays. A player like him needs to come in and have that type of success, because he has all the ability in the world and any time he comes in and makes those plays it’s going to help his confidence.”
Head coach Bill O’Brien, too, was impressed with Clowney.
“JD did a nice job today, from what I could see on the sideline.”
Clowney and the Texans return to the practice field on Monday, and will host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.