Standout Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston may not be ready for the 2016 opener after undergoing a procedure to repair his ACL last month, the Chiefs confirmed today. As Adam Teicher of ESPN.com writes, Houston was having postseason arthroscopic surgery on his knee when his ACL was found to be “intact but not functioning.”
Houston’s ACL was fixed, but the expected rehab timetable from the procedure is 6-12 months. If his recovery lasts closer to six months, the 27-year-old could be ready to go in September, but if it’s closer to 12 months, his availability for the entire 2016 season may be in jeopardy. Per Teicher, head coach Andy Reid said today that the team is “hoping [Houston] will be able to play this season.”
One of the league’s top pass rushers, Houston inked a six-year, $101MM extension with the Chiefs less than a year ago, but was hampered by injuries in the first year of his new deal. After leading the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014, Houston still played very well in 2015, but totaled just 7.5 sacks in 11 games. The outside linebacker also showed some versatility by grabbing a pair of interceptions, including one for a touchdown.
The Chiefs did re-sign Tamba Hali earlier this month, and it’s possible 2014 first-rounder Dee Ford will be ready to take on a larger role in 2016. But without Houston, the team’s pass rush would take a significant hit.
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