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Dorsey Comments on Houston Timeline
Friday, April 22
"I'm not a medical expert," general manager John Dorsey told reporters Friday, "but I can tell you that Justin Houston will be playing this season."
However, when asked for a more definitive timeline, Dorsey said, "Not being a medical expert, I really can't definitively tell you that answer, but I would say that our doctors have reassured us that he will play this season."
On March 29, Dorsey said Houston would be in Kansas City in the next few days to begin his rehab, per Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Dorsey added that the team and Dr. James Andrews determined Houston was ready to come back in December before tests in February showed more damage, per Paylor.
Houston Shares Instagram Video of Workout
Wednesday, April 6
Latest on Houston's Timetable for Return After ACL Surgery
Tuesday, March 29
"Yeah, absolutely," Chiefs general manager John Dorsey said when asked if Houston should be back early in the season, Paylor.
ESPN.com's Adam Teicher reported March 22 that Houston underwent ACL surgery in February and is expected to be out for six to 12 months, which means missing part or all of the 2016 season is a possibility.
"Houston's ACL wasn't torn, [it] just wasn't working properly after last year's injury. Now he'll almost certainly begin camp on [the] PUP list," reported NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on March 22. "Houston is progressing well in rehab, I'm told," Rapoport added. "He's off crutches, [has] movement in his knee and is healing fine. Optimism."
Houston Quietly Established as One of NFL's Premier Pass-Rushers
The 27-year-old steadily improved with each season in the league. He collected 5.5, 10.0 and then 11.0 sacks through his first three years before exploding for an NFL-best 22 sacks in 2014. That earned him a six-year, $101.5 million extension with the team.
Houston followed up with another strong campaign in 2015. While his 7.5 sacks paled in comparison to the previous year's totals, he was still among the elite edge-rushers in the game when healthy.
Having Tamba Hali on the other side of the defense will help compensate for Houston's absence should he be forced to miss some time in 2016, as will the emergence of Dee Ford, who registered four sacks last season and showed the potential to be a special player.
Houston is quite possibly the best and most disruptive pass-rusher in the NFL, however, which means nobody on Kansas City's roster will be able to truly and fully replace what he brings to the table.
Even so, the Chiefs had success without Houston in 2015, and if they manage to bring that same mentality into the 2016 campaign, they should be able to at least keep their heads above water until he comes back, assuming he does.