Colts add Houston
Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard kept insisting he would be judicious in free agency.
For two-plus years, he was. On Wednesday, a week after the first big wave of signings, Ballard opened his checkbook and made the biggest acquisition of his tenure by adding defensive end Justin Houston.
Ballard didn’t just add a proven pass rusher, he brought in someone he knew well from his days in Kansas City, someone he believes fits the Colts’ young locker room, and a player who can still be effective when taking on extra blockers. Houston considered it the perfect combination for his skills.
“I think they can help me as much as I can help them,” he told local reporters on a conference call. “I love the way they play — their attitude and the effort they play with on the field. I think we can help each other. I just want to be another pass rusher within the scheme that can help cause some more headaches.”
The 6-3, 258-pound four-time Pro Bowler was a key part of the Chiefs’ defense, making 377 tackles in 96 starts. Houston’s 78 1/2 career sacks rank fourth since he entered the league, and he was a first-team All-Pro in 2014 when he won the NFL’s sacks title. His 22 sacks that season are still tied for the second-highest single-season total in league history.
But with Houston turning 30, a high price tag and the Chiefs switching from a 3-4 defensive front to a 4-3, he suddenly became expendable.
So after testing the market, Ballard eventually persuaded Houston to make Indianapolis his new home.
“We’ve been calling and texting each other,” Houston said. “Just knowing him [Ballard] and the kind of guy he is — somebody I can trust and just talk to, knowing I’ve got an honest answer and to know exactly what he’s looking for and feel like I can help play a large role.”
ESPN.com reported the deal is for two years and $24 million.
Timberwolves shutting down Covington, Rose, Teague
The Minnesota Timberwolves have more than likely shut down three of their top five scorers for the rest of the season with lingering injuries: Robert Covington, Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague.
The Timberwolves announced before their game Thursday at Charlotte that Covington, who was the centerpiece of the package received in the Jimmy Butler trade, recently suffered a setback with the bone bruise on his right knee. Covington had been progressing closer to a return since getting hurt on Dec. 31. He played in only 22 games for the Wolves after arriving from Philadelphia.
Rose has missed the last four games with soreness and swelling in his right elbow. He had an MRI test on Tuesday that revealed a bone chip and a loose body in the joint. Teague has also missed the last four games after aggravating a left foot injury that initially occurred in mid-December. He had an injection on Tuesday to treat chronic inflammation.
The team said all three players are not expected to play anymore this season. The Wolves are on the verge of being eliminated from the playoff race.
Christian to coach George Washington
Jamion Christian has been hired by George Washington as its men’s basketball coach after one season at Siena.
Christian’s hiring was announced Thursday, less than a week after GW parted ways with Maurice Joseph following three years.
Siena went 17-16 under Christian this season with a game built on pressure defense and three-point shooting. He took over a team that finished 8-24 in 2017-18 under Jimmy Patsos.
George Washington went 9-24 this season.
Christian’s brother, Jarell, coaches the Washington Wizards’ G-League affiliate.