"His game is all about explosion," Cherilus told the Indianapolis Star. "That's a problem. I'm out there dancing. I'm an offensive lineman. That's a different ballgame. He's screwed. I'm just being honest."
Clowney, the top pick in this year's NFL draft, had microfracture surgery on Monday. The team announced on Dec. 4 that he would be placed on injured reserve, but the move was not made official until Wednesday.
Cherilus, who underwent microfracture surgery in 2010, also discussed his own recovery process.
“The doctor said, ‘I’d be surprised if you ever play again’ ” Cherilus said. “I was like, ‘My God.’ But I gave it a try. We did rehab for nine straight months. Three to five hours in the morning and then I’d come back and do some more later. Think about that.”
“You see my leg right here?” Cherilus said. “Imagine putting this on crutches for 10 weeks. You lose everything. The whole leg was numb. I couldn’t even walk. We had to teach the leg to do everything all over again: taking off, cutting, everything.”
Many athletes have had the surgery. Some, such as Cherilus and New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire, have resumed successful careers. Others, such as former NBA player Greg Oden, were unable to return to their pre-injury form.
As a rookie in 2014, Clowney made seven tackles, but failed to record a sack in four games.