Knee trouble has impacted Justin Houston for lengthy stretches during his career. Although the Chiefs‘ top pass rusher played 15 games last season, he admitted he wasn’t at full strength. Houston missed 11 games in 2016 and five in 2015 due to a troublesome knee, one that required surgery during the 2016 offseason. But Houston’s participated throughout Kansas City’s offseason program this year and will be counted on to supply consistent edge pressure.
“When you have the surgery I had on my knee, it takes time to get your pop back and get where you want to be,” Houston said, via Nate Taylor of The Athletic (subscription required). “I’m beyond there right now. It just feels great to be back in that feeling.”
These knee problems have limited Houston since he signed that six-year, $101MM contract at the 2015 franchise tag deadline. He has not recorded double-digit sacks in a season since his NFL record-threatening 22 in 2014.
Cameron Erving is in the mix to win the Chiefs‘ left guard job, per Taylor, who adds Mitch Morse looks to have reasserted himself as the center starter. Erving served as a Chiefs backup last season, but with K.C. having lost Zach Fulton in free agency, a spot is open for the former Browns first-round pick. Erving’s last full-time role came when he started 13 games with Cleveland in 2016. The Chiefs declined Erving’s fifth-year option, making this season particularly pivotal for the former Florida State standout.
The Chargers have signed tight end Austin Roberts, according to a team announcement. Roberts will compete for a spot on the roster following the loss of starting tight end Hunter Henry.
Roberts, an undrafted free agent out of UCLA, is likely not viewed as a one-for-one replacement for the injured Henry. However, it is interesting that the team’s first tight end move was not a reunion with accomplished veteran Antonio Gates.
“Well, shoot, I’d always be excited if he walked back in the door obviously,” quarterback Philip Riverssaid this week when asked about the idea of Gates returning to the Chargers. “That’s something that [GM] Tom [Telesco] and [owner] John [Spanos]and coach [Anthony Lynn] and those guys I’m sure will discuss and see about bringing anybody in for that matter, but certainly [Gates’ return] would get my vote.”