Jim Caldwell uncertain about Chris Houston’s ability to return to form

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In February, Lions General Manager Martin Mayhew said that he was “very confident” that cornerback Chris Houston would bounce back from a poor 2013 season.

Coach Jim Caldwell isn’t so sure. Caldwell said Thursday that Houston has a clean slate with the new coaching staff after a season that saw him deal with a toe injury and his father’s name coming up during former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd’s drug trafficking trial, but pointed out that a rebound is far from certain after such a sharp drop in productivity.

“I’m not certain,” Caldwell said, via the Detroit Free Press. “You’re never 100 percent certain about anything. I can’t be certain if I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s not promised to me, so I’m not certain. We’ll see. He’s a young man, and typically, they heal pretty quickly, unlike old guys like me. We anticipate that he’ll come along, but we’ll have to just wait and see.”

Caldwell said Houston’s toe problem is still affecting him and the uncertainty about Houston’s future could lead the Lions to look for help at corner during the draft. Oklahoma State’s Justin Gilbert visited on Thursday and could be a possibility with the 10th pick in the first round. That wouldn’t make a Houston rebound unnecessary, but it would give the team another option in the event Houston can’t recover his old form.