HOUSTON – No. 1 overall draft pick Jadeveon Clowney was back in action on the field in the first day of practice at Houston Texans training camp Saturday.
Coming off a June 12 sports hernia surgery, Clowney told reporters after the morning practice he is still "limited" as he continues to fully recover from the injury.
"I don’t know the percentage, but I know I ain’t 100 percent," Clowney said.
Despite not being at full strength, sitting out during 11-on-11 drills Saturday while participating in other exercises, Clowney said he did feel good getting back on the field with his new teammates for the first day of camp.
"I feel good," Clowney said. "Get everybody back out here, back learning (the) playbook. Just look forward to getting back into and mixing. Looking forward to the season."
Head coach Bill O’Brien is being careful to not rush Clowney back to full action on the practice field as the team transitions to full pads in the coming days.
"He’s practicing and he’s rehabbing," O’Brien said. "We’re staying with the rehab protocol, which allows him to practice a little bit. We just stick with that and he’ll be fine."
Clowney is transitioning to linebacker after playing defensive end at South Carolina and said he "feels good" about the move so far, despite missing time during the offseason. His goals for this season, however, are simple.
"Being the best teammate I can be," Clowney said. "Be a better listener."
In his first day of training camp in the NFL, Clowney was seemingly most excited about taking the field for the first time with the several big defensive names on the Texans.
"It’s very exciting," Clowney said about participating in his first NFL training camp. "It was exciting the first time I got here where the guys I looked up to coming into the NFL — JJ Watt… Jonathan Joseph, DJ [Swearinger]. You got guys like that on my team I just looked up to before I got here, so now that I’m here with them, its even better."
Clowney also got in a moment before practice with his new teammate Andre Johnson, who ended his holdout with the Texans Friday reporting to training camp.
"I talked to him and said to him ‘I’m glad you’re back’ and he started smiling," Clowney said. "It was funny, a joke, but I’m glad he’s back."