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Justin Houston to Receive MRI Monday

The linebacker suffered a knee injury in the first quarter on Sunday


Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury Sunday, and he did not return.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said that Houston would receive an MRI on Monday to determine the cause of the injury.

"When you start dealing with this stuff, you want to see what the MRI tells you," he explained. "Let's leave it at that and then we'll see what happens and then we'll get you the information on it."

When Houston left the game Sunday, the Chiefs coaching staff had to fill his role on the fly, and they did so by using veteran Tamba Hali in 100 percent of the defensive snaps for only the second time this season.

Hali's key fourth-quarter strip-sack of Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor actually came from what is typically Houston's side of the defensive scheme.

"We were moving them around the whole game," Reid said of Hali's sack from Houston's side. "We try to do that the best we can, so people can't get beats on either one of them and that's how we roll."

Another player that had a key sack for the Chiefs thanks to extended playing time was veteran LB Frank Zombo, but you won't find his mark on the stat sheet.

After Taylor hit running back LeSean McCoy for a 10-yard touchdown, the Bills were still down by 2 points, with the score 24-22 Chiefs.

Bills head coach Rex Ryan opted to go for two points.



Taylor dropped back, scrambled to his left and was sacked by Zombo, whose effort preserved the lead for the Chiefs. 

"I thought Frank did a nice job," Reid said this morning. "That's how he plays. Frank's been in there. Frank stepped in on a Super Bowl-winning team and took over after an injury and played well when he was at Green Bay, so he understands all of that."

What Reid referred to is Super Bowl XLV, when Zombo, then an undrafted rookie and member of the Packers, helped Green Bay defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25.

A knee injury had kept Zombo out of most of the Super Bowl run, but when Erik Walden injured his ankle in the NFC Championship game, Zombo was called upon to step in on the biggest stage of them all.

Filling in for Walden, Zombo recorded Green Bay's only sack of the game in a similar situation to Sunday's sack—as the Packers held onto a 21-17 lead on third-and-long in the third quarter. Zombo also had 5 tackles in the game.

The Chiefs should know more on Houston as the week goes on, and if he can't go, he will no doubt be a tough player to replace.

But whether he's out for a game or longer, in Zombo, the Chiefs have someone who's done it before in a situation in which the pressure couldn't be higher.

"He's steady Eddy, man. He's got a good personality, so he's not afraid to 'zing' [any of his teammates]," Reid said of Zombo. "He's just got a good way about him. He's a tough guy, he's a tough kid, he plays hard. Relentless."

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