Jadeveon Clowney eager to return

HOUSTON -- When Houston Texans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney sees all the amazing things teammate J.J. Watt does on the football field, it looks familiar to him.

"I just tell him, boy, I remember I used to do that in college," Clowney said. "He be like, 'Yeah, I know. Need to do that on the next level.'"

Clowney, who is rehabbing from arthroscopic knee surgery for a torn meniscus on Sept. 8, is getting closer to being able to elevate his game. He said Friday that he has started cutting and running full speed.

Last week, Texans coach Bill O'Brien declared Clowney out for Thursday night's game against the Colts, but indicated his return date would come soon after. The Texans play the Pittsburgh Steelers on "Monday Night Football" on Oct. 20, which is exactly six weeks from when Clowney had surgery.

Asked if he'd like to make his return on MNF, Clowney said: "I would like that."

"I want to hit somebody," he added. "Ain't hit nobody in a long time, in about a month. I'm looking forward to that."

O'Brien said Clowney is getting better and his chances for playing Monday are 50/50.

"We have 10 days here, we've got some time to let that sort out," O'Brien said. "Right now it's iffy whether he'd be ready for Pittsburgh or not."

Clowney suffered the non-contact injury in the first half of the Texans' season opener, landing awkwardly after jumping in the air to bat a pass. He had surgery the next day.

It was Clowney's third injury since the Texans drafted him first overall in May. He also had sports hernia surgery in June and suffered a concussion in August that kept him out for nearly two weeks.

Part of the reason the Texans drafted him was to take some attention off of reigning defensive player of the year J.J. Watt. Incidentally, Watt scored his third touchdown of the season Thursday in Houston's 33-27 loss to Indianapolis. Can Clowney do that?

"I believe so," he said. "Play hard. Get after the quarterback, making plays. I think I can do that."