Outside linebacker Justin Houston racked up 10 sacks in the first seven games of the season as a first-half Defensive Player of the Year. Since he suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 12, the entire Kansas City Chiefs defense has managed just 10 sacks. Although Houston is expected to play for the first time since before Thanksgiving, there are still questions surrounding the ailing pass rush. As we've pointed out on the Around The League Podcast, it's not just the missed games that hurt a team when a player is injured. It's also the decline in production as the player works his way back to peak form. Even if Houston shakes off the cobwebs, fellow edge rusher Tamba Hali's swollen knee is a concern. Hali and right tackle Eric Fisher (groin) were both held out of practice again on Thursday. Coach Andy Reid has said that Hali can play without practicing, but Pro Bowler's effectiveness will likely be compromised. Only two quarterbacks have taken more hits than Andrew Luck this season. The status of the Chiefs bookend rushers will play a big factor in Saturday's Wild Card round game.
Justin Houston set to return for Chiefs in playoffs
NFL.com | Jan 2