By Steven St. John
Chiefs Kingdom received some horrendous news on Tuesday morning, as Andy Reid and head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder updated the status of Justin Houston’s injured knee during a conference call with the media.
Here is what Burkholder said about Houston during the conference call:
So Justin, if you remember, hurt his knee in (November) against Buffalo, I think. We went through the playoffs where he was knicked up. He went down and saw Dr. (James) Andrews for the second time in February, had his knee scoped. At that time, in the week of February first, I think it was, he had his knee scoped. When Dr. Andrews took a look inside his knee, he determined that his ACL was intact, it just wasn’t functioning. He didn’t do anything at that moment, brought him out of surgery, we all got on the phone, discussed everything and decided to have his ACL fixed. He had his ACL fixed on the 16th of February. Right now he’s in the middle of the process of doing rehabilitation for an ACL injury that was a little bit tricky, because his ACL wasn’t torn, but it wasn’t functioning the way it should, so Dr. Andrews fixed that. And as you know from past, those are six-to-12 month recoveries, so it’s too early to tell where he’s at right now, but he’s on the road to recovery.
Welp. This really sucks. And, there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered. Did the Chiefs make a mistake by bringing Houston back for the playoffs? Did anyone know that Houston had suffered an ACL injury before February or was it a complete surprise? Would the Chiefs have still brought Tamba Hali back, if Houston hadn’t suffered this ACL injury? Will Houston miss the entire 2016 season?
Regardless of the answers to the first few questions, the last one is all that matters. If Houston misses a portion or all of the 2016 season, it will be a HUGE blow to the Chiefs chances of returning to the playoffs. It’s just awful news to a team that still needs to replace Sean Smith in the secondary and make other necessary upgrades to keep up with the rest of the AFC West.
Again, without Houston, the Chiefs will be left to count heavily on an aging Hali and a still unproven Dee Ford, unless they decide to address the situation early in the upcoming draft. Yes, in the same draft they need to add a cornerback, offensive and defensive line depth and another wide receiver, all without the benefit of a 3rd round pick.
Hopefully, Houston will be back in closer to six months instead of 12. And, if you’re looking for optimism, Reid referenced Houston’s tremendous work ethic and that’s he’s a “fast-healer”. However, the bright side doesn’t look so bright right now. All I can say is the whole situation really sucks.
Return to: Steven St. John Blog