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Dee Ford says Chiefs need to be patient with Justin Houston: We’ll hold down the fort

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Most of us were hoping that Dee Ford could simply survive until Justin Houston came back to make the Chiefs pass rush great again. Instead, he’s thrived with nine sacks through eight games including 5.5 in the last two.

Justin Houston is getting closer to returning. It’s expected that the Chiefs will activate him this week. It’s not clear if he will be ready to play this weekend but the wheels are in motion. Ford says that they need to make sure they don’t rush Houston back.

“I think about it every day. It is going to be great but I don’t want him to rush back. No one wants him to rush back. I’ll hold down the fort. Tamba will hold down the fort. Zombo, Dadi, all of us will hold it down until he gets back. It will be that much better once he gets back. We don’t want him to rush it and have a setback. His livelihood is way more important than rushing him back into some games. He has plenty of football left in his tank. We don’t want him to come back [until he’s ready] but we want him to come back.”

This quote reads a little curiously but Ford is right. The Chiefs are 6-2. You can’t take anyone lightly but this team with this depth has earned the right to be patient with a guy like Houston and a big reason for that is the play of Dee Ford. It’s a similar dynamic to Jamaal Charles and Spencer Ware. You want your top guy back but you’re blessed to have a strong replacement. In the case of Ford, he’s not a replacement. He and Houston can and should be on the field together with Tamba Hali taking spot snaps.

The pass rush looked like a major weakness early on this season. Slowly but surely the Chiefs are hoping this turns into a strength as January rolls around.