Seeing twelve names on an injury report may not sound like a positive thing at first glance. However, the Chiefs are finally getting closer to full(ish) strength heading into Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.
Lets start with the good news and work our way to the concerning news.
Out of the 12 players listed on the Chiefs injury report, nine of them participated fully in practice Wednesday. Among the key names on the list: Brandon Albert (knee, elbow), Jeff Allen (groin, hand… awkward), Jon Asamoah (knee), Donnie Avery (shoulder), and Dontari Poe (ankle).
It is a bit troublesome that three-fifths of the starting offensive line is listed with some kind of injury, especially considering how inconsistent the play has been from the unit. Add in that Eric Fisher is only two weeks removed from his concussion and one starts to think things are not going to get much better quickly from this unit. However, they are all still practicing and they are all still ready to start on Sunday, which is only a good thing.
Also, Chiefs fifth round pick Sanders Commings is back on the practice field for the first time since he broke his collarbone in July. He is eligible to be activated from the injured reserve list in two weeks.
More mediocre news comes from the limited participation section of the report. Brandon Flowers (knee) and Anthony Fasano (ankle, knee) are the only two players who are listed in this category. Each missed last week’s game against the Raiders because of their injuries.
The key here is Fasano. While the Chiefs can piece things together without Flowers this week, Fasano is another matter. Much of what the Chiefs wanted to do on offense relied heavily on having three good tight ends on the field at any given time. Fasano is the only one left of that threesome that has a chance to play again this season.
And the Chiefs need him desperately.
The more bodies the Chiefs can get out there that can help the passing game, the better. particularly in the medium range area of the field and over the middle. Forcing opponents to cover the whole field will give Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery some room to work on the edges and without multiple people covering them. Fasano is the perfect answer to making that happen, but he’s not a bad one. The sooner he can get on the field and produce, the better.
On the more troubling side of things, Kendrick Lewis missed practiced Wednesday with an ankle injury. Kansas City has some guys who can fill in behind him, but with Flowers potentially out the depth of the secondary is starting to shrink. Quintin Demps and Hussain Abdullah are each available to take his playing time if Lewis misses Sunday’s game.
Houston’s injury report is a bit more up in the air.
The obvious headliner here is Matt Schaub, who was out of practice Wednesday due to a knee and ankle injury. It is still unknown if he will play on Sunday.
Texans were also missing starting left guard and former Chief Wade Smith, who is suffering from a knee injury.