Justin Houston out, Chiefs activate Justin March-Lillard

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs head to San Diego for the season finale against the Chargers without linebacker Justin Houston, but could have linebacker Justin March-Lillard back in time for the playoffs.

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin March-Lillard
Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin March-Lillard. (Photo by Matt Derrick, ChiefsDigest.com)

The Chiefs declared Houston out for the game, ensuring the veteran misses his second-straight game while continuing to battle inflammation in his surgically repaired knee. Keeping Houston out gives the veteran linebacker at least one more week to rest before the playoffs.

The team also listed running back Spencer Ware and cornerback Phillip Gaines questionable.

Coach Andy Reid said the team is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding Ware’s availability Sunday.

“We limited his practice time this week a little bit,” Reid said. “We’ll just see how he does.”

The team also activated March-Lillard from injured reserve while waiving defensive lineman David King. The second-year linebacker carries no injury designation since the team considers him healthy and ready to play.

But Reid, however, does not consider March-Lillard likely to play against San Diego.

“Probably not,” Read said. “I’d probably lean away from that one.”

The Chiefs could give March-Lillard at least one more week of practice before returning him to game action.

The Chargers deploy many three- and four-wide receiver sets, making it likely the Chiefs could use more nickel and dime formations with safety Daniel Sorensen in for an inside linebacker alongside Ramik Wilson.

The Chargers will be without running back Melvin Gordon and cornerback Craig Mager. Several starting offensive linemen also appear on the team’s injury list. That includes tackle King Dunlap listed as doubtful. Guard Orlando Franklin and center Matt Slauson are listed questionable.


OUT: CB Craig Mager and RB Melvin Gordon
DOUBTFUL: T King Dunlap
QUESTIONABLE: G Orlando Franklin, ILB Denzel Perryman, C Matt Slauson and WR Jeremy Butler

Practice report

Did not participate in practice: T King Dunlap (knee), CB Craig Mager (shoulder), ILB Denzel Perryman (knee), C Matt Slauson (foot) and RB Melvin Gordon (hip/knee)
Limited participation: G Orlando Franklin (shoulder) and WR Jeremy Butler (ankle)


OUT: LB Justin Houston
CB Phillip Gaines and RB Spencer Ware

Practice report

Did not participate in practice: LB Justin Houston (knee) and LB Tamba Hali (knee)
Limited participation: CB Phillip Gaines (knee) and RB Spencer Ware (rib)
Full participation: 
WR Chris Conley (ankle)


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.