The Chiefs haven’t yet seen what LB Justin Houston can do in 2016, just a few years removed from his 22-sack season. He hurt his knee last year, had ACL surgery in the offseason – though not for a full tear – and has been out all year to this point.
Even so, he’s certainly not lacking for confidence. When asked about what he thought he could do in his return, he said:
“I expect to do what I normally do – dominate.”
He also said that he thinks he can play the entire game, though the team is likely to use him in a rotation. He was cleared for practice roughly a month ago, but he just got bumped up to the 53-man roster yesterday.
In the last two years, Houston has put up 29.5 sacks. However, as noted above, 22 of those came two years ago, in a single season. He then got a six-year deal for $101M, and he only put up 7.5 sacks last year. While he shouldn’t be expected to get 22 every year, that was a pretty big drop in production.
This season, the team has seen Dee Ford finally step up. He has nine sacks, which is the most by any player on the team.
Houston was not the only high-profile Chief to miss part of the year because of a knee injury. RB Jamaal Charles was also out after tearing his ACL. He came back a few weeks ago, played in three games, got all of 12 carries, and is back on IR again with an injured knee. He may be able to come back by Week 17 at the earliest. Certainly, the Chiefs don’t want to rush Houston into too much work too fast and have the same thing happen.