"I'm not a medical expert," general manager John Dorsey told reporters Friday, "but I can tell you thatJustin Houston will be playing this season."
"When?" asked a scribe.
"Not being a medical expert, I really can't definitively tell you that answer," Dorsey said, "but I would say that our doctors have reassured us that he will play this season."
Dorsey emphasized that Houston is "doing good" and "ahead of schedule" after undergoing surgery to have his ACL "fixed"in February. Although not torn, the linebacker's knee was not functioning properly. With Houston facing a six- to 12-month recovery, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported in March that the Pro Bowler was off crutches and progressing well in his rehab.
Earlier this month, Houston swatted down rumors that he might miss the entire season, posting an Instagram a video of himself working out less than two months after surgery.
Still, Dorsey wouldn't say if Houston's up-in-the-air status would affect Kansas City's draft plans.
"I think first and foremost, (linebacker) Tamba (Hali's) here, that's a great thing," Dorsey said. "(Pass rusher) Dee Ford's here. I think when Dee got into the games, he began to play, he started to contribute. There was one game he had a couple sacks there. So he's going to contribute as it goes on. I would expect good things from those two. Now, the key there is to have rotational depth. And does that rotational depth come from within our system right now? Or do we go and get it in the draft? I think as the draft goes along, you'll see what happens there. But at the end of the day, I got No. 50 -- he'll be here."
The Chiefs would field a remarkably different (read: lesser) defense without Houston on the field. His status will generate plenty of attention as April and May turn into June, July and beyond.
That didn't stop Dorsey from gushing over his prized defender, though, saying: "He is dialed in. He's excited, I mean ... when you hear from him, you see, he's going to be Justin Houston when he gets back here."