Chiefs’ Dee Ford expected to be fine for training camp; status quo on Justin Houston

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The conclusion of mandatory minicamp came at a good time for the Chiefs to recharge ahead of training camp, which starts in late July.

Aug. 18, 2015; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs linebackers Tamba Hali (91) and Justin Houston (50) during training camp at Missouri Western State University. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Aug. 18, 2015; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs linebackers Tamba Hali (91) and Justin Houston (50) during training camp at Missouri Western State University. (Emily DeShazer/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

And getting healthy over the next month certainly applies to the outside linebacker position, where Justin Houston (knee) and Tamba Hali (knee) didn’t practice during organized team activities (OTAs) or minicamp.

The Chiefs also have Dee Ford dealing with tendinitis in his knee, a situation that caused the third-year pro to miss Wednesday’s practice and part of Thursday’s workout.

Coach Andy Reid, however, didn’t appear too concerned about Ford.

“He’ll be fine,” Reid said Thursday. “Once we get back to camp, I don’t think it will be a big deal.”

When it comes to Houston, who underwent surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in mid-February, the status quo remains on his status.

“I don’t know how much he’s going to do in camp,” Reid said. “But listen, he’s where he needs to be right now. He’s a hard worker, so he’s bound and determined to get back.”

Houston, who spent OTAs and minicamp rehabbing at the team’s training facility, isn’t the only one looking forward to returning from a procedure originally projected as a six- to 12-month recovery timeframe.

The Chiefs also remain hopeful to have the former All-Pro linebacker available at some point during the regular season.

“When you’re around him, you have this optimism,” Reid said. “I feel optimistic that he’s going to be back in a short period of time, but in reality, it’s going to take a little bit and that’s OK.”

Like Ford, Hali should be fine for the start of training camp and both players project as the starters if Houston isn’t ready for the regular season.

The Chiefs also have veteran depth with Frank Zombo and the team recently brought back Dezman Moses, who spent the past three seasons with the Chiefs.

“You’ve got other guys that will step in, step up for him at that spot until he gets back,” Reid said. “The important thing is he gets back, that he’s healthy and that you don’t rush it and do something foolish.”

While the defense receives a tremendous boost with Houston in the lineup, the Chiefs will err on the side of caution.

Additionally, don’t expect a hard schedule on Houston’s return.

“We’ll just see how it works out,” Reid said. “There’s no timetable. It’s just when he’s right, he’s right and ready to roll.”

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal and ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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