NFL report: Chiefs’ Justin Houston is out Sunday and might miss the playoffs

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) brings down Raiders running back Latavius Murray during the first half of their game Dec. 8.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

The Chiefs ruled Justin Houston out for Sunday’s game in San Diego with swelling in his surgically repaired left knee, throwing into question the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher’s availability for the playoffs.

The Chiefs also activated linebacker Justin March-Lillard from injured reserve and waived defensive lineman David King on Friday, though Chiefs coach Andy Reid said March-Lillard is unlikely to play this week.

Running back Spencer Ware is listed as questionable for the game with bruised ribs.

Houston, who was also inactive for last week’s win over Denver — which clinched a postseason spot, had surgery to repair the ACL in his knee in February, after the team struggled to determine the extent of the injury late last season. He didn’t make his season debut until Nov. 20 against Tampa Bay and had three sacks the following week in Denver, with a fourth sack the next week in Atlanta.

But the star linebacker was held in check by Oakland and virtually disappeared a couple weeks ago against Tennessee, the first obvious sign that Houston’s knee was bothering him.

“I think we just take it day-by-day and we just see,” Reid said earlier this week. “I know how these things work. I’ve been there and I know it. I think it’s just a matter of calming it down a bit. I think if we just take it day-by-day we’ll be good to go.”


The Chiefs can win the AFC West and earn a first-round bye by beating the Chargers on Sunday if division-leading Oakland also loses to the Broncos.

Seahawks give Bennett three-year extension

Michael Bennett and the Seattle Seahawks reached agreement on a three-year contract extension on Friday that will keep the defensive end under contract through the 2020 season.

“It’s good to be a part of an organization that recognizes a player’s talent and being able to be compensated for what you do on the field is always a good thing,” Bennett said following practice on Friday.

Bennett’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, told the Associated Press that discussions about the extension started six months ago and finally reached their conclusion just before the end of the regular season. Bennett’s deal begins with the 2018 season and is worth up to $31.5 million, including $16 million in the first year of the new contract.

NFL fines

Two members of the Kansas City Chiefs were docked a total of $30,385 for their actions in their victory over the Denver Broncos last week. Defensive tackle Chris Jones was fined for his forearm shiver to quarterback Trevor Siemian well after the ball was thrown while Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris was doecked $12,154 for using the football as a prop and putting it after catching defensive tackle Dontari Poe’s two-yard touchdown toss in the closing minutes.

After the Chiefs’ 33-10 win that eliminated the defending champs from the playoff chase, the affable Jones said in the locker room: “My mom be on Twitter and someone said, ‘Dumb-dumb Chris Jones got his first fine.’ I thought that was kind of funny. People are crazy.” And Jones is $18,231 poorer for the illegal hit.

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane was hit with the biggest fine of Week 16 — $27,236 — for an uncalled hit on Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham, who was docked $12,154 for taunting after the play.

And Jets right tackle Brandon Shell was fined $9,115 for a facemask penalty during Malcom Butler’s interception return in a game against New England.


Adrian Peterson is listed as out for the season finale against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, leaving open the possibility the star running back has played his final game for the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson was listed on Friday has having groin and knee injuries. He missed 11 games with a torn cartilage in his right knee, returned for one game and has missed the final two games of the year. … Suspended Oakland Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith will not be reinstated by the NFL this season. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that the league has deferred a decision on Smith’s petition for reinstatement and will begin consideration in March. Pro Football Talk first reported the decision by the league. …

Matt Forte’s first season with the New York Jets is officially over. The veteran running back has been ruled out for the finale against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday with a knee injury. Forte had been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee, but sat out last week at New England because of the knee and a sore shoulder. . … Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Hurns likely will miss a fifth consecutive game Sunday at Indianapolis. Hurns is listed as questionable, but says his left hamstring is “still sore, so I probably won’t be able to go.” … Outside linebacker Robert Mathis announced he will retire following the Indianapolis Colts’ season finale against Jacksonville on Sunday. Mathis spent all 14 of his NFL seasons with the Colts and his 122 career sacks are a franchise record. … Buffalo Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday’s season finale against the New York Jets. …

The New York Jets have honored the late Dennis Byrd by voting to posthumously select the former defensive lineman as the winner of the team’s award named after him. The Dennis Byrd Most Inspirational Award has been presented each year since 1992 — with Byrd the first winner — to the most inspirational Jets player by a vote of his teammates. Byrd became an inspiration to many after he overcame brief paralysis and walked again just a few months after injuring his neck during a play in 1992. Byrd, who played for the Jets for four seasons, was killed in a car accident in Oklahoma in October. He was 50.