3 reasons the Jaguars must go after edge rusher Justin Houston, 2 they should pass

• The Jaguars pass rush could use a boost

• OLB Justin Houston is currrently available

• Here's the case for and against going after him

Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Justin Houston (50)
Oct 29, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Justin Houston (50) / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

2. Justin Houston may not contribute right off the bat

Houston has been dealing with a hamstring injury. He last played a game in early November and spent the last weeks of his tenure in Carolina on Injured Reserve. From an outside perspective, it's hard to tell what kind of shape the veteran pass rusher is in and whether his hamstring has fully healed.

Keep in mind that hammies are tricky. Cornerback Tyson Campbell dealt with one for nearly a month and re-injured it once he returned to action. Houston also runs the risk of re-aggravating his hamstring if he isn't fully healed. The last thing the Jags would want is to sign him only to place him on Injured Reserve.

If Houston isn't a full-go, an alternative would be to let him heal and have him back for the playoffs. However, he may not embrace the idea of remaining sidelined, one of the reasons he wanted out of Carolina.

1. Is Justin Houston much better than the in-house options the Jaguars have?

That's the other thing. Houston posted 9.5 sacks last year but maybe he just ran out of gas. Before the hamstring injury, he only had 0.5 sacks on 180 defensive snaps. K'Lavon Chaisson and Dawuane Smoot have arguably been more productive. Having said that, maybe Houston wasn't a fit with the Panthers and could enjoy a bit of a resurgence in Jacksonville.

At $196,000 for the next three games, the Jags could claim Houston and find out. Given the shortage of options at hand, they might as well roll the dice.

Here are more stories from Black & Teal: