As Branden Albert got carted off the field, it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. The offensive line had been pretty solid the last two weeks; Jamal Charles has getting bigger running lanes, Alex Smith has had more time to look down field, and throw the deep ball. The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense have scored 66 points the last two weeks, and that was more than the previous three weeks combined.
Chiefs fans should remain calm. The injury may not be as serious as originally feared, and Albert’s injury could actually help the the Chiefs in the long run. Albert was playing well, and the Chiefs would have had to pay Albert like a Pro Bowler in the off-season if they want to keep him. Maybe Ryan Clady-like money.
Clady got a five-year deal worth $52.5 million dollars with $25 million guaranteed. Now, because of the increased injury risk Albert has become, maybe the Chiefs can pay Albert the type of money Jake Long got from the St. Louis Rams , which was a four-year deal worth $36 million with $16 million guaranteed.
Albert may have no choice but to take the lesser deal, or Kansas City could place the franchise tag on him again. It is less likely anyone would trade for a banged up left tackle or offer top left tackle money for him either.
This will also let the Chiefs see if Eric Fisher can come in off the bench, and make an impact over the next week or two.
Eric Fisher has actually been on the bench the last two weeks. Now, it is time for the first overall draft pick to shine. If he doesn’t show improvement it while substituting for Albert, it will set the offense back. It will feed the fear that Fisher is a bust, and that the Chiefs will have to resign Albert.
The Chiefs may decide to pass on Albert and his knees, and pursue other options via free agency. Albert’s injury is not the end of the world, and the Chiefs do have options.
The Chiefs play the Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders over the next two weeks so Fisher will get a chance to prove himself against defenses without strong pass rushes. Albert may or may not be able to return this season, but the injury may prove to be help the Chiefs in the future.