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.