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Justin Houston's ACL injury could change the course of the Chiefs season ... or it could not

The Kansas City Chiefs have confirmed that Justin Houston had surgery in February to fix his ACL, which will result in a 6-12 month rehab. A six month rehab means he could be back by training camp while a 12 month rehab means he would miss the entire season.

This has the potential to change A LOT about the Chiefs season. Houston is one of the few players whose loss can have a major impact on how the Chiefs do business.

1. It's possible that Houston is back by August and plays Week 1. You're about to see some freakouts about Houston and rightfully so. But remember that with this news it's still very possible - likely? - that Houston is back by August and playing early in the season.

2. Not many players can affect how many wins the Chiefs have in a season. Houston is one of those players. The Chiefs likely won't win as many games next season if he doesn't play the whole season. He's that important to their pass rush. We said the same thing about Jamaal Charles last season but the next hidden gem pass rusher probably isn't walking through that door. This is different.

3. This helps explain the Chiefs bringing Tamba Hali back. They could've justified bringing him back either way but without Houston then bringing Tamba back was a must.

4. Dee Ford better be ready. He will be the man called upon if Houston can't start the season. This could also be good for Dee Ford because he'll get first team reps all offseason. This is a chance to get better.

5. This could affect how the Chiefs draft. I don't think this would be very reactionary because the pass rush is so damn important. The Chiefs pass rush doesn't look nearly as intimidating with an injured Houston, an older Tamba and a not-as-effective-as-Houston Dee Ford. Not just the pass rush, the Chiefs now need a cornerback badly. All of a sudden, only Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines doesn't look so great. The Chiefs need more corner help to compensate for this.

It's Game Time.

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