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Knee brace a bigger problem than injury for Houston

Justin Houston didn't look like himself last weekend after missing five games with a knee injury. The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker said the knee brace was a bigger problem than the injury.

"It's doing (well)," Houston said of his injured knee on Wednesday, via ESPN. "(It's) a little sore from that brace. The brace beat me up more than anything."

Houston said he'd prefer to play without the brace, but didn't feel safe without it. The linebacker was listed as limited in Wednesday's practice, but said he fully plans to play Saturday versus the New England Patriots.

In the blowout Wild Card win over the Texans, Houston had three tackles and one QB hit, but didn't appear to have his explosion back yet as he knocked off the rust.

"I feel like I played (well against) the run," Houston said. "In the pass rush I felt rusty. I definitely had to knock some rust off. As the game went on I felt like I was doing better."

Houston led the Chiefs with 7.5 sacks during the season, despite missing five games. With the Patriots' questionable offensive line -- they've started 13 different O-line groups this season -- Houston's health could be a dominant plot line as the Chiefs try to win in Foxborough. If the pass rusher gets comfortable in the brace and returns to his early season form, Tom Brady could be in for a painful Saturday.

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