2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Injuries, schedule key to charmed start for Chiefs

    2013-10-23 14:48

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Chiefs coach Andy Reid stepped to the podium Wednesday and, as usual, was about to begin his news conference by delivering a quick run-through of the injury report.

Then he stopped himself. He looked at his notes. He shrugged.

''We don't really have any injuries,'' he said. ''Everybody's going to practice today.''

Of course. That's the way things are going for the charmed Chiefs this season.

As teams across the league deal with devastating injuries to some of their best players - quarterback Sam Bradford in St. Louis, wide receiver Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis - unbeaten Kansas City has just about everyone healthy, just as it has most of the season.

Throw in a favorable schedule and a wave of key injuries to opponents, and it seems as if everything is lining up in the most splendid way imaginable for the Chiefs.

''This is a rough business. Injuries do take place. I get it. But we've been fortunate,'' Reid offered by way of an explanation. ''That's really what it is.''

The Chiefs have certainly had times where injuries stacked up. Just a couple of years back, running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry, both Pro Bowlers, went down with season-ending knee injuries a week apart, sending the team into a downward spiral.

Just about the worst thing to happen to the Chiefs this season has been injuries to a couple rookies who were likely to be backups: tight end Travis Kelce and safety Sanders Commings. Kelce is done for the year, but even Commings is due to come back from injured reserve soon.

''Some of it is chance,'' Reid said. ''Sometimes it comes in waves. That's how it works.''

It's not just that the Chiefs have been healthy; it's that their opponents have not.

Starting in Week 1, when Jacksonville quarterback Blaine Gabbert was dealing with a thumb injury, Kansas City has met teams in disarray. It was Ryan Fitzpatrick starting at quarterback for an injured Jake Locker in Tennessee, and Case Keenum making his first NFL start in place of Texans QB Matt Schaub in a 17-16 victory last week that ran the Chiefs' record to 7-0.

Not only was Schaub hurt before playing Kansas City, Texans running back Arian Foster went down on the first series of the game with a hamstring injury, and star linebacker Brian Cushing was lost for the season early in the second half with a major knee injury.

The trend of facing backups continues this week, too.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski announced Wednesday that Jason Campbell will make his first start of the season in place of ineffective Brandon Weeden on Sunday. Weeden was already a replacement for Brian Hoyer, who sustained a season-ending knee injury Oct. 3.

''You go in every week respecting every opponent,'' linebacker Derrick Johnson said, ''but at the same time, we don't really care who plays as long as we execute our defensive scheme.''

Injuries to opponents such as Tennessee and Houston have softened the Chiefs' schedule, but it was already soft. The Jaguars are still winless after tying Kansas City for the NFL's worst record last year, and the Giants finally won a game this past week.

Altogether, teams the Chiefs have played this season are a combined 15-33, and all but the Cowboys have a losing record. Oakland and Houston each have just two wins.

''I mean, for us the bottom line is to win games,'' quarterback Alex Smith said. ''With that is to continue to get better as the season goes on, as the stage gets bigger.''

Regardless of the opponent.

The stage can only get bigger considering the high-profile games still on the docket. Among them are home-and-away matchups against the Broncos and Chargers, a game at Washington and one against the Colts, the only team to beat the Seahawks and Broncos this season.

Perhaps that's why nobody in the Kansas City locker room is celebrating the perfect start too much. They know plenty of tough opponents remain on the schedule.

They also know they've been leading a charmed existence so far.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Justin TuckOct 29 09:23p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin) and CB Carlos Rogers (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Bobby WagnerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (ankle) and LB Bobby Wagner (toe) were each unable to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and each is already ruled out for Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders.

Max UngerOct 29 09:23p

Seattle Seahawks DT Jordan Hill (ankle), SS Jeron Johnson (concussion), CB Byron Maxwell (calf) and LB Malcolm Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG James Carpenter [ More ]

J. CunninghamOct 29 08:53p

The St. Louis Rams signed OT Steven Baker, WR Emory Blake, OT Travis Bond and TE Justice Cunningham to the practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Marcus LattimoreOct 29 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. He remains on the reserve/non-football injury list.

Brian QuickOct 29 08:43p

The St. Louis Rams placed WR Brian Quick (shoulder) on the reserve/injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

A.J. EddsOct 29 08:33p

Atlanta Falcons FS Sean Baker, Carolina Panthers RB Darrin Reaves, Denver Broncos DE Greg Latta, New England Patriots OG Chris Barker, New York Jets LB A.J. Edds, Oakland Raiders [ More ]

Damian WilliamsOct 29 08:33p

The St. Louis Rams promoted OG Brandon Washington from the practice squad to the active roster Wednesday, Oct. 29, and they signed free-agent WR Damian Williams.

Patrick WillisOct 29 08:03p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), SS Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were listed as limited participants in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Chris Culliver [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 29 08:03p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Anthony CollinsOct 29 07:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were listed as limited participants.

Lamarcus JoynerOct 29 07:53p

St. Louis Rams S Cody Davis (concussion), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder), LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (toe), DE William Hayes (foot), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), S Rodney McLeod (knee), OT Rodger [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 29 07:43p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring), DE Phil Taylor (knee) and OT Joe Thomas (non-injury related) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. DT Ahtyba Rubin (ankle) was [ More ]

A.J. GreenOct 29 07:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (toe) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Oct. 29. Green said he feels good, and he'll try to do more Thursday, Oct. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 29 07:33p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), LB Brian Cushing (knee), CB Johnathan Joseph (knee), LB Brooks Reed (groin) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. [ More ]

Stepfan TaylorOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and he has been ruled out for Week 9.

Patrick PetersonOct 29 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals FS Tony Jefferson (head) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Kenny Demens (knee), TE Troy Niklas (ankle) and CB Patrick Peterson (concussion) were listed as limited [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 29 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) has been ruled out for Week 9 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. CB Darqueze Dennard (hamstring), DE Carlos Dunlap (illness), LB Rey Maualuga (hamstring), [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 29 07:03p

Denver Broncos LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), S Quinton Carter (hamstring) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Omar Bolden (concussion) and LB Steven Johnson [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 29 06:53p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Chris McCain (foot), LB Koa Misi (ankle), [ More ]

Brian RobinsonOct 29 06:43p

Minnesota Vikings DE Brian Robinson (glute) and CB Jabari Price (hamstring) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. CB Josh Robinson (ankle), DT Sharrif Floyd (ankle, knee), [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 29 06:23p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for the team's Week 9 game. CB Jamell Fleming [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is expected to start in the team's Week 9 game against the Minnesota Vikings, according to league sources.

Tracy PorterOct 29 05:53p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

Jon BeasonOct 29 05:33p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot, toe) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Jonathan GoodwinOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints LB David Hawthorne (hand) and FB Austin Johnson (knee) both did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and have been ruled out for the team's Week 9 [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and has been ruled out for Week 9.

Jimmy GrahamOct 29 05:23p

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29, and is questionable for the team's Week 9 game.

Brandon BrownerOct 29 05:03p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. FS Nate Ebner (finger), DE Dominique Easley (knee, shoulder), OT Cameron Fleming (finger) and [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 29 05:03p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) didn't practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. OG Oday Aboushi (shoulder), OG Willie Colon (knee), LB David Harris (shoulder), LG Trevor Reilly (knee) [ More ]

Terrell SuggsOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens WR Michael Campanaro (thigh), DT Haloti Ngata (shin), CB Jimmy Smith (foot), LB Terrell Suggs (neck), CB Lardarius Webb (non-injury) and OG Marshal Yanda (knee) all did [ More ]

Justin ForsettOct 29 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens RB Justin Forsett (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 29. Forsett is dealing with an ankle injury.

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