Lions hoping to have James Houston back before the season is over

It's still a little way out from being possible, but the Lions are optimistic about getting James Houston back before the season is over.
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Dan Campbell has already openly acknowledged how the Detroit Lions' Week 9 bye is coming at a good time. Players can reset, notable injured players can benefit from a week off and hopefully return in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Regardless of the situation, having the bye at the relative halfway point of the season would be one teams would choose.

The Lions will hope to have running back David Montgomery, center Frank Ragnow, left guard Jonah Jackson back right after the bye week. James Houston is not in that group, on IR with a fractured ankle he suffered in Week 2, but Campbell gave an update on the second-year edge rusher on Tuesday (h/t to MLive).

"I mean, that’s another one, with some of these guys that we’ve got on IR,” Campbell said. “It’s just part of the rehab process. Now, what he had was pretty clean, so the rehab, the healing should be pretty clean. But there again, if it’s happening, then we’re talking about December.”

NFL Media reported at the time of the injury that Houston would miss "at least" 6-8 weeks. That timespan is right now, but he's still about a month out from returning. If he is able to return this season.

James Houston may return to Lions in time for playoff push

After he was injured, it sure seemed Houston could miss the rest of the season. So Campbell pointing to a December return is an optimistic note.

Houston emerged on the scene late in his rookie season last year, with eight sacks in seven games from Thanksgiving on. He was challenged to become a more well-rounded defender in his second season, but the injury obviously derailed that development process. He played 32 defensive snaps in the first two games.

The Lions have lacked someone besides Aidan Hutchinson to provide pass rush all season. An addition at the trade deadline did not come, but if Houston is able to return next month whatever he can offer will be a welcome boost.


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