Chiefs GM says LB Justin Houston (ACL) will play in 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Injured linebacker Justin Houston will indeed play for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016, general manager John Dorsey said Friday.

The Chiefs previously gave a rehab schedule for somewhere between six and 12 months for Houston, who had surgery on his injured ACL in mid-February and indicated his availability for the upcoming season was in doubt.

"I'm not a medical expert, but I can tell you Justin Houston will be playing this season," Dorsey said. "When is a good [question]. Not being a medical expert, I really can't definitively tell you that answer. But our doctors have reassured us that he will play this season."

Houston injured his knee last year in a Nov. 29 game against the Buffalo Bills. He didn't play again in the regular season but still led the Chiefs with 7.5 sacks.

Houston returned for the playoffs but was mostly ineffective. He had arthroscopic surgery on Feb. 1 and the problem with his ACL was discovered during that procedure, the Chiefs have said.

Now the Chiefs appear to be counting on Houston for at least a portion of the upcoming season.

"He's ahead of schedule," Dorsey said. "[Trainer Rick Burkholder] and he have been talking on a [regular] basis. He was up here last week. I think they are now working together and trying to work out the rehabilitation process. He's doing great. He's dialed in. He's excited. When you hear from him, you see he's going to be Justin Houston when he gets back here.

"At the end of the day that guy, No. 50, he'll be here."