Over the last five weeks or so, Chiefs cornerback Steven Nelson has done all he could to stay positive.
Nelson, a third-round pick out of Oregon State in this year's draft, was inactive for the first four games while the Chiefs' pass defense struggled. He was active in the Chiefs' 18-17 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday but did not log any defensive snaps.
“The last month, just been doing everything I can to help this football team, even when I was on scout team,” Nelson said. “I’m still on scout team, showing the starting guys a good look and what they’re going to expect from the opposing team.”
Nelson is learning how to play nickel corner, a position he says he did not play in college.
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“It’s a lot more than just playing cornerback (there),' Nelson said. “You’re making a lot of calls. You’re being put in a lot of situations in the blink of an eye. It’s a lot of quick thinking.”
Nelson is optimistic, however, that he's been making positive strides. His activation for last Sunday's game is an example of that, he said.
“Yeah man, everything happens for a reason ― timing is everything,” Nelson said. “So I think everything that’s going on is positive.”
Sutton on Houston
One player absent on the final two plays of the Bears' game-winning scoring drive on Sunday was star outside linebacker Justin Houston, who was not on the field for Jay Cutler's 7-yard touchdown throw to Matt Forte.
On Thursday, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was asked if Houston was hurt before the score, which gave the Bears a 18-17 lead late in the fourth quarter.
“He was a little tired and banged a little bit,” said Sutton, who added that Houston's absence wasn't the result of a personnel decision or anything like that. “He actually made it in for the two-point play there, too.”
Indeed, Houston returned to the game for the Bears’ ensuing two-point conversion, which failed.