Mayhew has concerns on Chris Houston

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – As the Detroit Lions start to make decisions about the future of their franchise, one of their starters could be turning into a much larger question mark.

Cornerback Chris Houston, who had an inconsistent 2013 after many injuries bothered him throughout the year, has struggled to rehab. The biggest issue was his toe, which he injured toward the end of the season and kept him out of games in the second half of the year.

"He dealt with it during the season last year, still dealing with it," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said. "Trying to find the right treatment plan for him right now."

On Monday, Mayhew would not rule out surgery to try and fix the player that was once his top cornerback. Earlier this offseason, Mayhew had expressed confidence Houston would bounce back from a year where he had a career-low 44 tackles and had only two interceptions.

He also played in just 12 games -- tying the lowest mark of his career.

This echoes what new head coach Jim Caldwell said about Houston returning to his old playing self last month.

"I'm not certain," Caldwell told reporters. "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. But we anticipate that he'll come along, but we'll just have to wait and see."

Mayhew would not indicate whether Houston's injury would change their draft philosophy when it came to when the team could select a cornerback. When looking at corners, Mayhew said the most important thing was "competitiveness," making sure that any corner they were to draft had that kind of thought process.