The Detroit Lions released cornerback Chris Houston nearly two weeks ago. The move came after it became clear to the Lions that Houston wouldn't be healthy anytime soon, and at the time, the team hinted that the decision was mutual. I can't imagine Houston was actively seeking his release or anything like that, but in an interview with the Austin American-Statesman, he also described his release as a mutual parting of ways.
Mutual breakup or not, the fact remains that Houston is now a free agent. As a result, he's off recovering from toe surgery on his own, and his focus is on simply getting healthy. There are big question marks about whether he will ever play again in the NFL, but Houston has his sights set on being cleared by August or September of this year. Here's what he had to say about the surgery:
"It was something that had to be done, because playing football when you’re constantly hurt is not fun," he said, describing the operation as a reconstruction of his big left toe. "Health comes first. If I’m able to get back to 100 percent, I know I’ll have another opportunity somewhere."
If Houston isn't even able to get cleared until the end of the preseason or the start of the regular season, he may have a tough time finding work in 2014. If he can get up to full speed by mid-season, perhaps he could at least start trying out for teams, but it's not out of the question that he could spend the entire 2014 season without a team. That would obviously be disappointing for Houston, but that timetable helps illustrate why the Lions decided to simply release him instead of waiting around for him to recover.