Chiefs clear Justin Houston for “football-type” activities

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro linebacker Justin Houston cleared one more hurdle in his recovery from offseason knee surgery, receiving medical approval to resume football-type activities.

Sept. 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (18) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) at Arrowhead Stadium. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Sept. 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (18) sacks Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) at Arrowhead Stadium. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Coach Andy Reid said Houston appears in good shape and eager to return to the field.

“Right now he’s running around and doing a lot of things,” Reid said. “Other than, we’ll just have to see. It’s going to be a day-by-day thing and everybody’s different. When he has an opportunity to get out and practice, I’ll be able to see it first hand.”

Houston’s orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, evaluated Houston Oct. 3, the day following the team’s 45-14 loss at Pittsburgh. He cleared Houston to add football-type activity to his rehabilitation as a prelude to his returning to the practice field, according to Rick Burkholder, the team’s head athletic trainer.

The Chiefs placed Houston on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after the preseason, meaning he must miss the first six weeks of the season. The earliest Houston can resume practice is following Sunday’s game against Oakland.

“We’ll make a decision as this week comes to a close when we would take him off that PUP list and put him into practice,” Burkholder said. “There’s a lot that goes into that with myself, coach Reid and (general manager) John (Dorsey). That’s where we’re at. He’s been cleared to do football-type activity right now.”

Houston can practice with the team up to 21 days before the Chiefs must placed him on the active roster or injured reserve. The Pro-Bowl linebacker can return to the active roster anytime during the three-week practice period the team deems him able to play.

Houston underwent surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in February.

Reid showed no willingness to rush Houston back to the playing field, alluding to the careful strategy team used with running back Jamaal Charles and cornerback Phillip Gaines, both also returning from ACL knee surgery.

Reid said he does not want to put Houstin in a position where he’s to ready yet ready to play.

“That’s a challenge,” Reid said. “You want to make sure he can get out of his own way and do the things he needs to do obviously. And that you have to see first hand.”

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Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.


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