Kansas City Chiefs Injury Update: Cairo Santos Injury Ramifications

Kicker Cairo Santos #5 of the Kansas City Chiefs ( Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Kicker Cairo Santos #5 of the Kansas City Chiefs ( Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

The Kansas City Chiefs announced some bad news on Tuesday as kicker Cairo Santos is heading to the injured reserve.

Cairo Santos has been an extremely consistent kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs over the last three-plus seasons. According to the Chiefs, via Twitter, the team had to place the Brazilian on the injured reserve after he took a helmet to the knee Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Santos has converted 84.8 percent of his field goal attempts since joining the Chiefs in 2014. He’s converted 89 of 105 attempts, including only missing six of 61 attempts from inside 40 yards.

He 30 of 41 from at least 40 yards. He’s also made 96.2 percent of his extra point attempts.

Evidently, the Chiefs have signed Harrison Butker from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad.

Butker kicked for four seasons at Georgia Tech, scoring 337 career points for the Yellow Jackets. He was 42 of 60 on field goal attempts for 70 percent. According to Fox Sports, half of his made successful attempts came from 40 yards or more. The Panthers drafted him in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Losing a dependable kicker for an unproven one may prove dicey for the Chiefs. While Butker’s college success rate wasn’t stellar, in college, the hash marks are much farther apart than in the pros. The Chiefs must have confidence he can handle the duties in the NFL.

Santos is ranked 12th all-time in field goal percentage, and that is hard to replace. No one can expect Butker to step in and be that accurate. The Chiefs just have to hope Butker makes the kicks he has to make and doesn’t miss any that will cost the team any games.

With the Chiefs sitting atop the AFC West and looking like a true contender in the AFC, they can little afford major injuries. Losing your trusted kicker is a major injury. Until Butker can prove himself trustworthy, you might see the Chiefs be a bit more aggressive in games.

They might go for short yardage fourth downs if in that iffy part of the field for long field goals. They look to push the ball downfield a bit more once the cross the fifty-yard line, where Andy Reid sometimes goes conservative.

It will be interesting to see how Santos’ injury will change how the Chiefs offense approaches certain situations in the next few weeks.

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It is easy to take a good kicker for granted – until you have a bad kicker. The Chiefs have to hope Butker can be close to as consistent as Santos has been over the years. You would hate to see the Chiefs lose a game or two because of a kicker!