Clowney missed Houston's final two preseason games, but coach Bill O'Brien announced Wednesday that the rookie would start at linebacker alongside a healthy Brian Cushing in Week 1. The thought of that duo burning into the pocket behind behemoth J.J. Watt should be enough to keep Robert Griffin III up at night.
Other injuries we're following on this glorious Kickoff Thursday:
- The Buccaneers remain confident that offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford will play some role against the Panthers on Sunday after undergoing a surgical procedure last week, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Tight ends coach Jon Embree told reporters that Tedford has been "significantly involved" in the game plan, but we still expect quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo to call plays against Carolina.
- Speaking of the Panthers, Cam Newton was on the practice field Thursday but didn't lob a pass during any of the portion that the media was able to see. Newton has never missed an NFL start, but the signal-caller seemed hesitant to declare himself totally ready for the season opener against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
- Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts had some hamstring tightness and left Thursday's practice. ESPN's Michael DiRocco noted that this was what Shorts dealt with the first day of training camp and he missed almost a month. This doesn't bode well for the Jags or Chad Henne if he misses any significant amount of time.
- Cornerback Tracy Porter (hamstring) was among those who were limited in practice for the Redskins on Thursday. Coach Jay Grudensaid if Porter is unavailable in Sunday's opener against the Texans, E.J. Biggers and Bashaud Breeland would fill in. Linebacker Brian Orakpo (ankle) was also limited in practice.