The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed that star pass rusher Justin Houston will play today against the Indianapolis Colts, as they listed him as probable on the official injury report. However, there were still some worries regarding the status of fellow elite pass rusher Tamba Hali, who was listed questionable by the Chiefs on the injury report. It was reported yesterday that the Chiefs believe Hali is health enough to play against the Colts, and the prevailing belief has been that Hali is tentatively expected to play barring a setback.
Now, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting that there is abundant optimism regarding the chances of Hali playing this afternoon, as a source told Rapoport that Hali “should” be able to play against the Colts “barring a setback”.
Since there isn’t much room for a setback to happen, all Hali has to do is have a clean pre-game warm-up session, and he’ll be a full “go” against the Colts. Hali and Houston form one of the best edge rushing duos in the NFL, and the two have racked up pressures and sacks ata crazy rate this season. They open up things big-time for the rest of the defense, as Eric Berry is a more effective blitzer and Dontari Poe has an easier time due to the pass rushing duo (Poe and Berry also help out).
Getting pressure on Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck is key, and Houston and Hali are a huge part of the gameplan and can help out the secondary quite a bit (as they have done all season). While the Colts have a solid tackle duo and an awful interior, Hali and Houston’s edge rushing opens things up for guys like Poe to get pressure up the middle.