Chiefs’ Houston, Ware Expected To Play Against Steelers

Justin Houston

When the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs back in Week 4 of the regular season they did so without having to face outside linebacker Justin Houston as he was still on the Reserve/PUP list rehabbing his surgically repaired knee. On Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City the Steelers will likely have to face Houston when the team’s play again in the Divisional Round playoffs as the 2014 NFL sack leader was deemed healthy Monday by head coach Andy Reid during his weekly press conference.

“Everybody that was banged up is good to go now,” Reid said Monday. “Justin [Houston] and [Spencer] Ware, they’ll be ready to go.”

Houston, who made his 2016 debut back in Week 11, missed the Chiefs final two regular season games because of knee swelling and thus Sunday’s game against the Steelers will be his first action since playing 51 total snaps in his team’s Week 15 loss to the Tennessee Titans. In that game, Houston failed to crack the stat sheet as the Titans ran for 148 yards.

Assuming Houston does play Sunday against the Steelers, one would think he’ll be limited in the amount of snaps that he plays with it being his first game back in action. Reid wouldn’t say Monday whether Houston would start against the Steelers

“We’ll see how that works,” Reid said. “He’s had a couple of good weeks of practice and we’ll just see how he does here.”


With Houston expected back, he’ll likely rotate with fellow veteran outside linebacker Tamba Hali against the Steelers. Houston, who has four sacks on the season, has sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger twice during the four career games that he’s played against Pittsburgh.

Reid also mentioned running back Spencer Ware as being healthy and ready to play against the Steelers as well. Ware, who missed the Chiefs regular season finale against the San Diego Chargers because of a rib injury, led the Chiefs in rushing during the regular season with 921 yards on 214 carries.

In the Chiefs Week 4 loss to the Steelers in Pittsburgh, Ware rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries. It’s worth noting, however, that 46 of those yards came with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter and with the Steelers leading the Chiefs 43-7. Ware has only carried the football more than 20 times in a single game this season just once and that happened back in Week 6 when he rushed for a season-high 131 yards on 24 carries in the Chiefs 26-10 win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Chiefs were on a bye this past weekend due to them owning the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

  • foremania

    Steelers 31-20, take it to the bank.

  • Sam Clonch

    I’ll happily cash that check!

  • WilliamSekinger

    Hit Alex Smith early and often and he’ll have happy feet and sail his passes high for the rest of the game! 🙂

  • gdeuce

    I expect a similar game plan that was used against the dolphins

  • Sam Clonch

    If you don’t commit turnovers, Chiefs are a very unremarkable defense. 24th in yds/game, 28th in sacks, 26th against the run, 15th against the pass. Where they excel is turnovers. #1 in INTS, #3 in fumbles. Limit the turnovers=AFCCG appearance.

  • JNick

    If I remember right the past couple meetings the Steelers OLine has done a great job in keeping the Chiefs OLBs in check. Gilbert especially. I’m sure we’ll get a breakdown through this week.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Turnovers and they are great on Special Teams

  • Sam Clonch

    Bosewell, kick out the endzone!!! Berry, kick it out of bounds!!! Do NOT give Tyreek Hill any opportunities!

  • Rye Stye

    Let’s see how that knee works getting bullied by the O-line and Bell in freezing temperatures for a few quarters.

  • CP72

    Gotta be disciplined with your rush lanes this week. Smith can hurt you with his legs as much or more than he can with his arm.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Well they must be doing something right!! 😎
    To your point, based on their ranking one would think another game full of 26 dancing and running is in order, with limited passing -just like the MIA game
    No turnovers though – that would fit right into the Chiefs modus operandi.
    An early lead would be nice for sure.

  • francesco

    Eliminate KC’s number one threat TE Kelce especially on 3rd down and I shall see you in Foxboro.

  • We are going to win this game. Alex Smith relies on timing routes, just like Dalton and Flacco. Disrupt the pocket and seal the egdes, he is not a deep threat QB, he will make plenty of mistakes.
    If Bills and Miami could’nt run us, KC wint either. Other than Gronk no other TE has had a good game against us, Kelce will get a few here and there but with S. DAVIS he is in for a long day.

  • LucasY59

    Wow if Oakland had somehow been able to pull off the win against Denver the Steelers would be preparing for Connor Cook (or even McGloin) and with how bad they looked on Sunday it would be pretty safe to plan on buying a AFCC ticket

    Chiefs benefit from getting the Bye and the Steelers course to Lombardi #7 is a bit tougher, Houston returning is a big addition to the Chiefs D, and playing in Arrowhead is a definite advantage, but….

    The Steelers played VERY well to start the game yesterday and if they can do something similar in this next game they should be able to move on to the next rd! (Steelers have won the last 2 games against KC (and one was in KC with Landry at QB!!!) so I am still pretty optimistic) get a lead early and put pressure on Smith, run LeVeon and DeAngelo and control TOP (and kick it away from Hill!!!)

  • Jason

    Tyreek Hill scares me more than Kelce. He has become quite a weapon.

  • Daniel

    worried bout sean davis tho he has a shoulder injury

  • Daniel

    well NE will get banged up by the texans…texans do have the #1 defense

  • Bring ’em on!

  • Jon Crissinger

    I didn’t think there was anyway Houston would miss this game. Still not so fortunate for the Steelers. Dee Ford and Houston are both a terror

  • Hypo Cycloid

    Agree with everything except that part about Smith making plenty of mistakes. He rarely makes mistakes. That is what he is known for. I believe he will protect the ball well and simply throw it away to live another down. I would focus on stopping the run and making Smith beat us with his arm.

  • Sdale

    And for God’s sake, take a knee in the end zone…no more starting on the 10-15 yard line.

  • Big White

    Forecast for Sunday at 1PM in Kansas City.

    Freezing Rain/Ice turning to Rain as the day progresses. High 38 Degrees. 70% Chance of Precipitation 🙂

  • jquil24

    Wrong….the Steelers lost to KC last year with Landry at QB. I was at the game, Chiefs 23 Steelers 13.

  • Jason Vancil

    They have a big play defense, but not one that shuts you down. We just have to protect the ball and be patient.

  • Jason Vancil

    Bingo.

  • jquil24

    Which one? Most are closed on Sundays.

  • Jason Vancil

    He can run too. I fear Smith and Hills option game.

  • MC

    They started the KC game earlier this year even better if I recall correctly. Hopefully the D can force turnovers like they did that game and last Sunday.

  • MC

    Hoping Clowney puts some licks on Brady to soften him up for us.

  • MC

    Winning the turnover battle should decide this one.
    Steelers 24 – 17

  • Lil Smitty

    On Offense maybe, except the Chiefs have better Dbacks than Miami. They may change things up a bit, maybe look at Lev Bell as more of a passer. On Defense it will be completely different or else Kelce will run wild down the seams.

  • Lil Smitty

    I think Marcus Gilbert can control the pass rush from his side. The question will be if AV can control it on his side.

  • Rocksolid20

    To be the best , we have to beat the best ! Bring them on .

  • Rocksolid20

    NE might rest their starters ! LOL

  • gentry_gee

    It comes down to which Ben shows up. Will it be the crappy road game Ben with all the turnovers? Or will he be solid and disciplined and lead his team to victory? They will need an unbelievable game to pull this one out.

  • gentry_gee

    They’ll run screens to the TE and Hill. Hill is an electrifying talent and Kelce might be the fastest TE I’ve seen.

  • gentry_gee

    Ew. That turnover part is not so good. Ben has been serving it up of late.

  • steelcityrepub

    Mann.. i really hope good ben shows up…
    recently, at away games, hes been really bad

  • Applebite

    I just wanted to point this out, about a recent interview where they asked Harrison about playing the Chiefs this season. He told the reporters : ” We played them this year? I didn’t know….”

    I haven’t found the stats for that game yet, but I will say that I don’t remember Harrison playing in that game. But leave it to the media to make more of it than it really is.

    The Chiefs haven’t seen a few of the guys that are now present. Here again, Bud didn’t play in that game. Foster was out as well, that was the game BJ Finney flashed his abilities. The Steelers were still using their LB rotation in that game and Burns and Davis were just getting a hang of things as well. I don’t think the media is being honest with the idea, that these Chiefs will be that big of a surprise, when the Steelers were missing about as many players at the time, and simply rolled KC up like a blunt and lit the score board with them.

    All I can say is, We were all expecting to see a better Chiefs team than the one that showed up, and it didn’t happen, and the Steelers kind of shut it down early in the 3rd, just like they did against the Dolphins. Once again, we’re expecting to see a better Chiefs team. They’ll be at home with the fans and that ugly red. Everyone knows it shouldn’t be an easy game for the Steelers.

    Look at the betting line from Vegas…This isn’t a trap game, and you listen to the pundits. More than a few are trying to jump on the bandwagon, even though Vince Williams said, there’s no more room. Conditions are going to be messy. I hope they’re preparing for the Chiefs like they did for the Bills. Not because of the outcome in Buffalo, but because that game plan would prove to be daunting for the Chiefs to cope with. West coast teams think West Coast, and the Chiefs have had to adapt to that style of play on defense.

    Also, I’m not worried about Ben in this game at all. As long as the line does it’s part, he’ll be good to go. but I hope that in the event the Steelers go up by 20+ points, go ahead and settle things with the running game.

  • LucasY59

    yep it is what it is, I was just thinking about how it couldve been different

    to win a SB they have to win 3 more games against good teams

  • LucasY59

    you are right, the Cardinals game was the surprise win with Landry…

  • Lee DiNapoli

    TD