Clowney undergoes knee surgery, is NRG Stadium's turf to blame?

September 8, 2014

After leaving the Houston Texans' season opening 17-6 win over the Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon in the second quarter, it was revealed after the game top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney sustained a torn meniscus on the field.

Monday, according to head coach Bill O'Brien, Clowney underwent surgery to repair the knee injury.

"He underwent arthroscopic surgery this morning," O'Brien said. "He'll probably be out for about four to six weeks."

O'Brien also mentioned it seemed like the surgery "went well" to him.

It is also now being reported the injury could have been prevented all together.

Texans safety D.J. Swearinger, who played a critical role in the win, told NFL Network's Albert Breer that Clowney stepped in one of the "holes" in NRG Stadium's turf to cause the injury.

"He actually told me about (the injury) out there on the field," Swearinger said Monday. "When he did it, he was like, 'I jumped up and came down.'"

Clowney's injury isn't the first time the integrity of Texans home field has been challenged. During the Texans' last regular season game against the Patriots in 2010, New England head coach Bill Belichick called the turf "terrible" blaming the field for wide receiver Wes Welker's ACL and MCL injuries.

More recently the field was heavily criticized during an August 7 soccer match between AC Milan and Chivas.

NRG Stadium's field for Texans games uses a unique system where large treys of natural grass are brought in and linked together to create a full football field. Different grass is used for each Texans game. In recent years, synthetic field turf, used in numerous NFL stadiums such as Cowboys' and Ravens' home fields, was been brought in for high school and college football games played in the 12-year-old building.

Prior to the season, head coach Bill O'Brien said he would continue to use the trey-grass system for Texans home games, saying he was a "believer in natural grass" for playing football.

As far as Clowney's injury, Texans have to be concerned about the amount of injuries the linebacker has already sustained early in his rookie season. During a joint preseason practice in Denver against the Broncos, Clowney suffered a concussion, forcing him to miss Houston's final two preseason games. In June, he had surgery to mend a sports hernia.

Follow Shawn Ramsey on Twitter: @ShawnPRamsey