Huge news for the Chiefs: Linebacker Justin Houston is coming back to practice today.
This does not mean that he’s about to play, but it’s still a huge step in the right direction. RB Jamaal Charles just made his return from a torn ACL, and now the Chiefs are getting one of their best defenders back, as well. For a team with a winning record already, upgrading the talent like this could be pivotal.
Houston injured his knee near the end of last year, missed some time, and came back for the playoffs. He was clearly still hurt and wasn’t effective at all, but he wanted to try to gut it out since the Chiefs hadn’t been in the playoffs in 22 years.
After the loss to the Patriots, Houston had an ACL procedure done. He didn’t necessarily have a torn ACL, but it was a significant clean-up/repair procedure. He then went into rehab and has been trying to work his way back.
The Chiefs were originally very optimistic that he’d be back to start the year, but they became less so as the offseason went on. The projections were anywhere from six to 12 months, which meant at best he’d be back for Week One and at worst he’d miss the whole year.
The reality now appears to be somewhere in the middle. He clearly wasn’t ready to go to start the year, but it doesn’t look like he’ll miss the entire season, either.
This could help the Chiefs in a lot of ways, especially if they can win without him until he’s at 100 percent. If he comes back and is really healthy, he’ll be fresh and ready to produce during the playoff push and, if they make it, the postseason.