After a five-game absence due to a hyperextended knee, the four-time Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl outside linebacker—Justin Houston—will return to action on Saturday against the Houston Texans in the first round of the NFL playoffs.
Houston confirmed to the media on Wednesday that he's ready to get back on the field.
"That's the plan, to play, as of right now," he told the media on Wednesday.
While Houston didn't play last Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, he practiced on Friday, which was a good sign for the Chiefs that he'd be ready to go this week.
"I'll definitely have some rust to knock off and it probably won't hit me until the first quarter," Houston said. "After the first quarter, I'll be alright."
The timing of Houston's return couldn't be better as the Chiefs face a Texans offense that has injuries of its own to deal with—particularly along the offensive line, with two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown being lost for the season after suffering an injury last week in Houston's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In the 27-20 Chiefs win over the Texans back in Week 1, Houston had a key strip-sack fumble on Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer, which set up a late first-half touchdown from Jeremy Maclin to give the Chiefs an early 27-6 lead.
It was one of 5 sacks for the Chiefs defense in the game.
"They're more patient with the ball," Houston said of the Texans offense being different now than when they played back in Week 1. "They aren't turning it over, so we've got to create turnovers to give us a chance to win."