Lamarr Houston Finds New Life with the Bears and Makes His Case for a Return in 2018
Life is all about what you do with the chances presented to you. And if given a second chance, capitalizing on those opportunities when they come back around.
Outside linebacker/edge defender Lamarr Houston is definitely making the most of his second stint with the Chicago Bears.
And not just because he came up with a cool post-sack celebration that didn’t result in him tearing an ACL and missing the rest of the season:
I think Lamarr Houston just did the HADOUKEN fireball from Street Fighter 2 in sack celebration
That’s solid pic.twitter.com/cUgAb87xM9
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) December 16, 2017
The Bears re-signed Houston in late November after Leonard Floyd joined Willie Young as edge defender/outside linebacker types to land on season-ending injured reserve.
The Houston Texans believed it was time to get an extended look at some of their younger pass rushers and the team sent Houston packing. Naturally, the Bears were there to provide a soft landing. Since returning to Chicago, Houston has played some of his best ball and performed well enough to merit a discussion about his potential return for the 2018 season.
Houston has four sacks and four quarterback hits in three games with the Bears. Tack on four hurries and Houston has sacked, knocked down, or pressured the opposing quarterback on 12.1 percent of the 99 passing snaps he has played on in the last three weeks. That’s impressive,eye-popping production, after Houston picked up just one sack in five games with the Texans.
If you’ll recall, Houston was in the mix to break camp with the Bears and was in line to make the season-opening 53-man roster. Unfortunately, a second-half knee injury in the final preseason game (coincidentally, against the Cleveland Browns) led GM Ryan Pace to part ways with one of the last remaining pieces of the Phil Emery era in early September. Three months later, the Bears have seen four edge defenders placed on season-ending IR with Floyd, Young, and Pernell McPhee joined by rookie undrafted free agent Isaiah Irving – who was about to inherit more playing time after Floyd’s season-ending injury.
The lesson to be learned from 2018 is there is no such thing as too much depth. If Houston keeps up his stellar play over the final two weeks of the season, he’ll probably have his choice of suitors. But before he walks away again, Houston’s play should inspire the Bears to give him a deeper look as a rotation player at a position that was ravaged by injuries in 2017.