Clowney was not involved in on-field workouts throughout the offseason as he recovered from a knee injury. The Texans are also biding their time with three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, who has been on the field for select drills in early August but might not play in preseason games.
Head coach Bill O'Brien said Clowney could join the fray as soon as next week.
"I think Clowney's getting better and better, being closer and closer to being able to do more and more. We'll see how it goes," O'Brien said. "Probably do a little bit more next week in preparation for San Francisco. See how that week goes, and then, at the end of that week, make a decision relative to (the) L.A. (Rams) and things like that. We've got a good plan for him, and he's doing a good job. He's working at it."
Clowney is in a contract year and could capitalize on a strong season by joining the upper crust of highest-paid players in the NFL.
Defensive ends coach Anthony Weaver has seen more of Clowney than most in individual drills and is expecting a big year.
"He's been very limited in terms of what he's done on the field, but he looks great," Weaver said. "I know (the plan is) to get him as physically strong as we can, just so hopefully we can avoid some of those injuries he's had in the past that have nagged him throughout the season."
--Field Level Media