Justin Houston underwent surgery to “fix his ACL” last month, and now it’s looking like his entire 2016 season could be lost.
Adam Schefter of ESPN, in Florida for the NFL owners meetings, wrote Tuesday that “it’s clear that Chiefs’ LB Justin Houston’s 2016 season is in jeopardy.”
The original report that Houston underwent surgery on February 15 came by way of NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who wrote Houston could miss six-to-12 months. Based on what Schefter is hearing at the league meetings right now, it seems like the Chiefs are bracing for a lost season.
If Houston missed just six months, we’re talking about a potential return in August. That would set him up to potentially play most or all of the 2016 campaign.
However, given the extent of time projected for recovery, perhaps the best course of action for the Chiefs, who invested heavily in Houston last year, would be to have him sit out the year, regardless.
This is stunning news.
As mentioned, the Chiefs did invest a pretty penny in the pass rusher before the 2015 season, giving him a six-year contract worth $101 million. He missed five games last year with a knee injury as well.
If Houston cannot play, then veteran Tamba Hali and young pass rusher Dee Ford will need to step up in a major way to make up for the loss. Thankfully for the Chiefs, Ford came on strong last year and looks capable of continued success playing on the edge of the team’s 3-4 defense.
This is a huge blow for the organization and for Houston. We’ll be tracking his progress throughout the offseason and into training camp, as any developments will have a big impact on the team’s plans in 2016.