Justin Houston moves closer to returning to action for Chiefs


12/19/2013 3:21 PM

05/16/2014 11:05 AM

Outside linebacker Justin Houston appears closer to returning to the Chiefs lineup.

Houston lined up with the starters during positional drills in practice on Thursday. He was first in line to hit the blocking sled, which was an indication Houston has confidence in his right elbow that was dislocated against San Diego on Nov. 24.

All Houston needs is a green light from the team doctors and coach Andy Reid to play on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The Chiefs listed Houston’s participation in practice on Thursday as “limited.”

“He’s practicing and he’s in a lot of the drills and has worked with the first group,” said defensive coordinator Bob Sutton. “It’s just day to day and drill to-drill, but it’s great to see him out there.

“The thing I really appreciate about Justin is he’s practicing like he’s trying to play. Hopefully we can get him in. He would be a great boost for us.”

Houston was tied for third in the NFL with 11 sacks when he was injured. In the three games he has missed, the Chiefs had no sacks against Denver, six sacks at Washington and no sacks last week at Oakland.

Injury report

Besides Houston, the Chiefs said offensive tackle Branden Albert (knee) and wide receiver Dexter McCluster (ankle) were limited. All other players fully participated.

The Colts said three starters, including wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, did not practice. Hilton, the club’s leading receiver with 66 catches for 876 yards and five touchdowns was listed with a shoulder injury. He was not on the injury report on Wednesday.

The Colts said starting defensive tackles Aubrayo Franklin (non-injury rest) and Ricky Jean-Francois (foot) did not practice and starting cornerback Greg Toler (groin) was limited.

Charles, three teammates lead Pro Bowl voting

Running back Jamaal Charles heads six Chiefs players who are among the leading vote getters at their positions for the 2014 Pro Bowl game.

Charles ranks third among all NFL players with 825,345 votes, trailing only Denver quarterback Peyton Manning (1,227,068) and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees (1,049,811).

The other Chiefs who lead their positions are outside linebacker Tamba Hali (293,303); offensive tackle Branden Albert (209,068), and punter Dustin Colquitt (156,655). Guard Jeff Allen (171,074) and strong safety Eric Berry (149,759) rank second at their positions.

Balloting will conclude on Dec. 26 and the players will be announced on Dec. 27. The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 26 in Honolulu.