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Chiefs LB Justin Houston had knee scoped to 'fix' ACL

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Will Justin Houston be ready for the start of the regular season?

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Kansas City Chiefs trainer Rick Buckholder told reporters Tuesday that Houston had his ACL "fixed" in February, per the team's official website. The linebacker's ACL wasn't torn, but was not functioning properly.

Buckholder added that Houston has a six- to 12-month recovery.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Houston is progressing well in rehab and is off crutches.

The optimistic recovery time would put the Pro Bowl linebacker back in mid-August by the earliest. He will likely spend training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

"It's too early to be able to tell," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of whether Houston would be ready for the season.

Added Reid: "We're hoping he'll be able to play this season."

Houston could be a candidate to begin the 2016 season on the PUP list, which would sideline him for the first six games of the season.

Houston missed the final five games of the 2015 regular season with a PCL injury. In his return for two playoff games, the linebacker never looked like himself. He was tentative at the point of attack, lacked burst and appeared to slow several plays.

The Chiefs kept most of their solid defense intact this offseason, re-signing the likes of Tamba Hali, Jaye Howard, etc. However, the most important piece is Houston. If the stud pass rusher misses a big slice of the season, the Chiefs' chances in a wide open AFC West will be extremely hindered.

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