Texans pick up 5th-year option on DE Jadeveon Clowney

HOUSTON — The Houston Texans have picked up the fifth-year option on defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, a source confirmed Friday.

Clowney, who was the No. 1 pick in 2014, was entering the last year of his four-year rookie contract. Now that the team has exercised his option, Clowney will remain under team control through the 2018 season.

The news was first reported by John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Clowney was a huge part of a Texans defense that ranked first in the league in fewest yards allowed per game. In 2016, he made the move from outside linebacker to primarily defensive end. His contributions were especially important given the absence of three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt.

Clowney spent his first two NFL seasons dealing with injuries, playing in just 17 of 32 regular-season games. Last season Clowney played through wrist and elbow injuries, playing in 14 games and finishing the year with a career-high 52 combined tackles and six sacks.

In 2016, Clowney made his first Pro Bowl as the Texans’ only representative.

Texans opt for Osweiler for playoff vs. Raiders

HOUSTON — Brock Osweiler will start at quarterback for the Houston Texans in the playoff game Saturday against the Oakland Raiders.

Osweiler replaced Tom Savage early in the second quarter Sunday in the loss to the Tennessee Titans after Savage left with a concussion. Savage is still in the NFL’s concussion protocol and, if cleared, would be Osweiler’s backup on Saturday.

Texans coach Bill O’Brien said Monday he wanted the quarterback who will start to get most of the reps in practice this week.

“I thought Brock did some really good things on Sunday with his teammates and almost brought us all the way back,” O’Brien said. “So I thought he did a nice job, and we have a lot of confidence in him that he’s going to go out there and play well on Saturday.”

On Sunday, Osweiler was 21-of-40 for 253 yards and a touchdown. He did not throw an interception and also ran for a 1-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Savage was 5-of-8 for 25 yards and a fumble before he was injured.

Osweiler started the first 14 games of the season for the Texans, but he was benched for Savage in Houston’s Week 15 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars after he threw two interceptions in the first half. Sunday’s loss was just Savage’s second career NFL start.

The Texans signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million contract during the offseason, but he has struggled this season with 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 15 games.