As he recovers from ACL surgery, Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston may not be ready to take part in training camp. Because he is still working his way back, the expectation is that he will have to miss time at the start of the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
Houston underwent postseason arthroscopic surgery on his knee, at which point his ACL was found to be “intact but not functioning.” Earlier this offseason, when asked exactly when the 27-year-old would be back, GM John Dorsey was noncommittal:
“When is a good [question]. Not being a medical expert, I really can’t definitively tell you that answer,” Dorsey said.
One of the league’s top outside linebackers, Houston inked a six-year, $101MM extension with the Chiefs roughly one year ago, but was hampered by injuries in the first season of his new deal. Houston still played very well in 2015, but totaled just 7.5 sacks in 11 games, a fraction of what he turned out in the year prior. The outside linebacker also showed some versatility by grabbing a pair of interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
In 2014, Houston led the league in sacks, racking up 22 en route to his first All-Pro nod. From 2012 through 2014, the 27-year-old terrorized opposing quarterbacks, accumulating 43 sacks in 43 games — he also forced four fumbles in 2014, totaling 68 tackles. The advanced numbers back up Houston’s dominance as well, as he has ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 outside linebacker in ’13 and ’14. In 2014, his +51.1 grade nearly doubled the +26.0 mark posted by PFF’s second-best 3-4 OLB, Pernell McPhee.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.