Houston Texans team physician Dr. Walt Lowe recently raved that Jadeveon Clowney "looks spectacular" in his return from microfracture knee surgery.
That doesn't mean the second-year pass rusher will be ready to go when training camp opens, however.
The Texans announced Monday that Clowney has been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list.
This is a procedural move that will enable the team to keep Clowney on the PUP list for the first six weeks of the regular season if his knee doesn't cooperate.
However, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that there is "optimism" at Texans camp because Clowney has "been diligent in his rehab" and has stayed mostly near Houston.
"The plan all along is still the plan: to have him ready for Week 1," Rapoport continued. "So I would not be surprised if he's taken off the PUP list, a week, maybe two weeks before the regular season."
Clowney can be activated at any point during training camp. Barring a setback, we expect to see him on the practice field before the end of August.
Coach Bill O'Brien told NFL Media columnist Michael Silver last month that he believes Clowney will be available for the season opener versus the Kansas City Chiefs.
Clowney wasn't the only big name to be placed on the active/PUP list Monday. Here are the other key players:
»*Darren McFadden, Cowboys running back:* McFadden added to his long list of injuries on Thursday when the Cowboys placed the back on the PUP list due to a hamstring pull. McFadden dealt with the same injury during offseason practices. Dallas also added linebacker Rolando McClain to the list and moved Keith Riversto the retired list.
"We don't think this is serious, just want to take it day by day," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Thursday.
»*DeVante Parker, Dolphins wide receiver:* The 14th overall pick in the draft was placed on the active/PUP list on Wednesday due to a foot injury. The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reported the Dolphinsstill expect Parker, who had foot surgery last month, to be ready for the regular-season opener. Safety Don Jones joined his teammate on the PUP list.
»*Kevin White, Bears wide receiver:* Chicago's first pick in the 2015 draft won't be ready for camp after being placed on the active/PUP list Wednesday, Bears general manager Ryan Pace announced. The wideout from West Virginia is dealing with a shin injury and will have to wait to replace the departed Brandon Marshall as the Bears' go-to offensive weapon.
» Jermaine Gresham, Cardinals tight end: In less than a week, Gresham has gone from the couch to the PUP list, the Cardinals announced Wednesday. Gresham had sugery to fix a herniated disc in March and is still suffering from a back injury. He was signed by the Cardinals on June 24 after spending five seasons with the Bengals. In 2014, he caught 62 balls for 460 yards and six touchdowns.
» Stevan Ridley, Jets running back: Ridley's 2014 season ended prematurely when he tore his ACL and MCL in October. After signing a one-year deal with the Jets in the offseason, he sat out OTAs and minicamp, and will now sit out most of training camp on the active/PUP list. If and when he gets healthy, Ridley will have to battle Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Zac Stacy for carries in a crowded Jets backfield.
The Jets also placed veteran guard Willie Colon and defensive lineman Kevin Vickerson on the active/PUP list on Wednesday.
»*Brandon LaFell, Patriots wide receiver:* The secretive Pats haven't released details on LaFell, who attributed his offseason inactivity to "a few lingering injuries" that hampered him throughout the postseason. LaFell ditched his walking boot early this month, which suggests he's not facing an extended absence.
»*Dominique Easley, Patriots defensive tackle:* Drafted in the first round after a pair of ACL injuries at Florida, Easley was placed on season-ending injured reserve with another knee problem in December. He had declared himself "fully ready" for training camp by the middle of May.
»*Sio Moore, Raiders linebacker:* General manager Reggie McKenzie revealed in February that Moore underwent "major" hip surgery for the injury that ended the linebacker's season in mid-December. The Raiders are not worried that Moore will miss extensive training camp action, per ESPN.com's Bill Williamson. Along with second-year breakout candidateKhalil Mack, Moore forms the backbone of Oakland's defense.
»*Sen'Derrick Marks, Jaguars defensive tackle:* Marks suffered an ACL tear in the final game of the 2014 season. The defensive tackle led the Jags in sacks last season with 8.5. Marks is optimistic he'll be ready for Week 1. With rookie pass rusher Dante Fowler out for the year, Jacksonville needs a healthy Marks to pressure quarterbacks.
»*Vontaze Burfict, Bengals linebacker:* Burfict is recovering from microfracture surgery. On Tuesday, coach Marvin Lewis said Burfict would be "way ahead of the curve" if he saw the field during the preseason. Burfict could start the year on the PUP list, missing the first six games of the season. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport said Wednesday that if Burfict ends up on the PUP list, it would simply be an indication of the Bengals "taking it safe" and that the orgganization is "incredibly encouraged" by his progress.
The Bengals also placed defensive end Margus Hunt and linebacker Sean Porter on the active/PUP list to start training camp. The team added rookie first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi to the active/NFI list. The offensive tackle is dealing with an knee injury he suffered in college.
»*Carlos Hyde, 49ers running back:* Hyde is expected to take over for the departed Frank Gore as the stable back in San Francisco. If and when he fully recovers from a non-serious leg strain and returns from the NFI list, Hyde will be competing with newcomer Reggie Bush for carries. In his rookie season, Hyde rushed for 333 yards on 83 carries and scored four touchdowns.
»*Aaron Lynch, 49ers linebacker:* The second-year outside linebacker will start training camp on the NFI list while he nurses a leg injury. Lynch started in just three games in his rookie season, but recorded an impressive six sacks.
»*Storm Johnson, Jaguars running back:* Johnson, a second-year back out of Central Florida, was placed on the NFI list due to an undisclosed injury. Johnson played just six games in his rookie season, gaining 86 yards on 29 carries.
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