Justin Houston in lineup as Chiefs start playoff drive

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs begin their playoff run with a healthy roster, led by the return of Justin Houston. The All-Pro linebacker makes his first return to the lineup since week 15 as Kansas City hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC divisional playoff round.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston made his 2016 season debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston made his 2016 season debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arrowhead Stadium on Nov. 20, 2016. (Photo courtesy Chiefs PR, Chiefs.com)

All seven inactive players for the Chiefs are healthy scratches. Running back Knile Davis is one of the inactives. The healthy combination of Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West and along with the use of Tyreek Hill out of the backfield may have made Davis the odd-man out.

De’Anthony Thomas likely picks up primarily kickoff return duties with Davis inactive. Hill likely remains on the punt return team.

The Steelers enter the game banged a bit more than the Chiefs. Starting defensive end Richard Mathews, listed questionable for the game with an ankle injury, will not play for Pittsburgh. Mathews played all 16 games for the Steelers this season with five starts.

Among other inactives for the Steelers is tight end Ladarius Green. Green caught 18 passes 304 yards in six games after returning from offseason ankle surgery. He hasn’t played since sustaining a concussion Dec. 18 against the Cincinnati Bengals. He returned to practice for the first time this week on a limited basis.

The Arrowhead Stadium turf remained under a tarp until just before 5 p.m.. Field conditions expect to be dry, although a chance of light rain during the game remains a possibility.

Coach Andy Reid said weather would not effect his team’s game plan.

“We don’t let that be a distraction,” Reid. said. “We’ve kind of played in everything this year. We’ll be fine. We just go.”

CHIEFS INACTIVES

QB Tyler Bray, OL Mike Person, TE Ross Travis, DB D.J. White, LB Victor Ochi, RB Knile Davis and DL T.J. Barnes

STEELERS INACTIVES

DE Ricardo Mathews, LB Anthony Chickillo, TE Ladarius Green, QB Zach Mettenberger, CB Al-Hajj Shabazz, RB Fitzgerald Toussaint and OL Brian Mihalik.

 

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

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