ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan reported, via Twitter, that Mays’ wasn’t going to be back very soon.
On #Chiefs ILB Joe Mays (wrist surgery), source said he should miss at least six weeks. He has a re-check late next week.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) August 26, 2014
This would be an early blow to the Chiefs early season defense. Mays was signed this off-season to start next to Derrick Johnson at the other inside linebacker position. Now the Chiefs will need to rely on James-Michael Johnson, Josh Mauga, and Nico Johnson to fill the void.
None of these three players have much experience playing steady snaps. They have gained most of their playing time on special teams, so they will be learning on the job as the season starts.
This long term injury is going to dent an already thin defense. While the Chiefs have a strong pass rush from their outside linebackers, Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, plus a beast plugging the middle in Dontari Poe, the rest of the defense is suspect.
Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry are Pro Bowlers but the Kansas City Chiefs may not be strong at cornerback, or at the safety position opposite of Berry. They can ill afford injuries to anyone else.
The Chiefs face the Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, and the San Francisco 49ers in the first five weeks of the season. James-Michael Johnson and company will be tested early. Hopefully, they won’t come up too short while filling in for the recovering Joe Mays.