Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston was activated off the PUP list late Wednesday afternoon.
"You're talking about one of the elite players in this league especially when it comes to getting after the quarterback," Alex Smith said of Houston during his weekly media availability. "That's such a priority for every NFL team—whether it's getting to the quarterback or protecting him. To have him back, his presence and leadership and his energy is something everyone feeds off of. It will be good to have him back on the field with us."
Houston had offseason surgery to repair injuries to his left knee and was originally placed on the PUP list on August 30.
He returned to practice after receiving clearance on October 19, beginning a three-week period where he could practice without activation. The deadline for activation was Wednesday at 3 p.m.
According to Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, Houston has looked good the past couple of weeks.
"I can tell you that he's made tremendous strides from that first week he was out there to last week," Reid said last Monday. "He went from doing all the periods from just doing kind of the individual, the plays – the seven-on-seven things where there wasn't a lot of contact. He jumped in and did all the contact things last week. You could just tell his awareness out there was better, the speed of the game, it looked like he was settling down to that a little bit."
In his six-year NFL career, Houston has 264 tackles, 56 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 3 interceptions.
Houston's status for Carolina this Sunday remains to be seen.