OLB Justin Houston a no-show at minicamp

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs on Tuesday kicked off a three-day mandatory minicamp without two-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Justin Houston.

Nov 3, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) pursues Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 3, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) pursues Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Houston’s absence isn’t excused, which means the Chiefs can levy a fine for each day missed in accordance with Article 42, Section 1 (a) (ix), Exhibit A of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

By missing Day One of minicamp, Houston is subject to an $11,575 fine. A Day Two absence would cost Houston $23,150, while a Day Three absence is $34,730.

Should Houston no-show all three days of the mandatory minicamp, he can be fined a total of $69,455.

Houston, who all missed all 10 days of voluntary organized team activities (OTAs), is in the final year of his contract.

Also not present on the field for minicamp, but likely excused absences were wide receiver Weston Dressler (hamstring) and cornerback Sean Smith (illness).

Dressler suffered his injury on Day Nine of OTAs and hasn’t practiced since.

Minicamp participation

Tight end Travis Kelce (knee) was back on the practice field for the first time since Week 4 of the 2013 regular season. The second-year tight end participated in individual drills and appeared to run without limitations, even making a leaping grab from quarterback Alex Smith.

“I thought he looked great,” Smith said of Kelce after Tuesday’s practice. “It’s great to see him out here. He’s been working his tail off for a long time now and it’s tough work behind the scenes. He’s been here trying to get it right, so this is just the next step for him. I thought he looked good.”

Kelce was present during the OTAs, but didn’t take part in any drills as he recovered from an early October microfracture knee surgery.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee) and cornerback David Van Dyke (hamstring) participated during individual drills. Williams didn’t participate during OTAs as he recovered from a November ACL surgery. Van Dyke missed the final seven days of OTAs.

Kelce, Williams and Van Dyke left the field during team-related drills to get iced as part of their treatment.

Players back on field after missing time last week are cornerback Chris Owens (hamstring), wide receiver Junior Hemingway (illness), cornerback Phillip Gaines (personal), left guard Jeff Allen (personal) and running back Jamaal Charles (personal).

Minicamp tryouts

Four players, two on offense and two on defense, are trying out for a roster spot: Wide receivers Mark Harrison out of Rutgers and Cole Stanford out of Cal Poly State, and cornerbacks Quinton Byrd out of Utah State and Kip Edwards out of Missouri.

Byrd previously tried out during the Chiefs rookie minicamp on May 24-26.

Minicamp observations

• Running back/specialist De’Anthony Thomas left the field late into the practice with an illness. Prior to walking off the field to receive attention from the training staff, the Chiefs used Thomas in a variety of positions during a humid afternoon practice. He lined up in the backfield, the slot and returner.

• Rookie guard Zach Fulton got a lot of work with the first-unit during 11-on-11 drills. The Chiefs rotated Rishaw Johnson in place of Fulton as drills progressed. Jeff Linkenbach saw work at right tackle with Donald Stephenson continuing to fill at left tackle for Eric Fisher (shoulder, limited).

• Rookie outside linebacker Dee Ford took Justin Houston’s spot with the first team during 11-on-11 drills. Frank Zombo, who saw a lot of action with the first team during OTAs, rotated with Ford and also saw action with the second team.

• With cornerback Sean Smith not practicing, the first-team defensive secondary during 11-on-11 was Marcus Cooper at right cornerback, Ron Parker at left cornerback and Chris Owens at the slot. Cooper and Parker ran with the first team at those positions the last three days of OTAs

• Returning to action after missing time last week, wide receiver Junior Hemingway worked mostly out of the slot with the first-team offense.

• For the most part, defensive end Allen Bailey continues to get work with the first-team defense on the left side at Tyson Jackson’s former spot during 11-on-11 drills. However, Vance Walker, who ran mostly with a mix of the second- and third-team unit during OTAs, saw work with the first team.

• Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins, who missed some OTAs with a hamstring injury, made a nice play down the field after beating cornerback Marcus Cooper to catch pass from quarterback Alex Smith. Jenkins made another deep catch from quarterback Tyler Bray.

• Quarterback Aaron Murray connected down the field with tryout wide receiver Mark Harrison, who made a leaping grab over tryout cornerback Quinton Byrd.

• While he had some drops, tight end Demetrius Harris made a nice grab on a pass quarterback Alex Smith threw behind him. Harris’ momentum carried his body forward, but he adjusted his hands to reach off to the side to snatch the ball.

• The Chiefs used running backs Joe McKnight and De’Anthony Thomas, tryout wide receiver Cole Stanford, and wide receivers Albert Wilson and Frankie Hammond as returners during punt drills.

• Free safety Sanders Commings intercepted an Alex Smith pass down the left sideline intended for running back Jamaal Charles.