Chiefs’ Justin Houston day-to-day with hyperextended knee

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs cleared the air Wednesday on the nature of outside linebacker Justin Houston’s knee injury.

Nov. 29, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) leaves the field following an injury during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Nov. 29, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) leaves the field following an injury during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Reports surfaced in recent days the All-Pro linebacker sustained a PCL injury in Week 12 against the San Diego Chargers.

But head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder left no ambiguity surrounding Houston’s injury.

“We felt like we should clarify some things with Justin Houston because there were some reports out there he had a torn PCL,” head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder said. “What actually happened to him was he has a hyperextended knee. He had the torn PCL back in January 2014 – that has healed up.”

Houston sustained the PCL injury Burkholder mentioned during the playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts, but the current injury isn’t considered as serious.

“With a hyperextended knee, you get some soft tissue damage in the back of your knee and some of the ligaments and tendons and soft tissue get stretched out” Burkholder said. “That’s what he’s dealing with right now. He’s in the middle of the rehab process, he’s doing well and he’ll be on a day-to-day basis as we go forward here.”

With the Chiefs using the coming days to evaluate the star linebacker, the best-case scenario is Houston, who did not practice Wednesday, could be available for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

And coach Andy Reid hasn’t ruled out that possibility.

“He’s made big improvements here over the last two days, so that’s a positive thing,” Reid said. “We’ll just see how he does.”

Second-year outside linebacker Dee Ford, who missed the past two games with a back injury, returned to practice Wednesday and would get the first shot to replace Houston.

“He’s done a good job,” Reid said of Ford. “He’s working his way in there quite a little bit before he got hurt.”

The Chiefs used Frank Zombo as Houston’s replacement in Week 12 with Ford out.

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Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.

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