Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston ranked No. 26 in last year’s NFL “Top 100” list, but after injuries plagued him in 2016, he dropped in the annual list. This year, Houston comes in at No. 76, 50 slots lower than last year.
“We’re talking about this year, right?” said Chicago Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee in a video posted on NFL.com. “He ain’t really played this year (2016).”
“Look at what he did when he was out there,” replied Sam Acho, another Bears linebacker.
Houston, 28, played just five games in 2016, after recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him for most of the season. Houston’s performance in Week 12 at Denver, in which he recorded 10 tackles, three sacks and a safety, proved that he still has some firepower left in him.
“That Denver game, primetime, everybody’s watching,” Chiefs defensive end David King said. “He [Houston] wanted to tell the rest of the league, ‘I’m still here, I’m still (No.) 50, I’m still Justin Houston, I can still play.’
“The way he’s able to manipulate and fake offensive linemen and get them to shift their hands ... if you beat their hands, it’s over.”
The Chiefs need Houston healthy in 2017. He’s a difference-maker on the field that will make things tough for KC if he isn’t on the field.