The Kansas City Chiefs have a chance to eliminate the San Diego Chargers from the race to win the AFC West this Sunday and matters could come down to which team is the most healthy.
Both the Chiefs and the Chargers, like much of the NFL, are dealing with late season injuries to key players. Let’s take a look at the injuries for both teams.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been battling injuries all season long but the arm of QB Philip Rivers has carried the team back to a .500 record.
Sproles suffered a concussion in Sunday’s loss to the Okaland Raiders. While the Chargers haven’t made much use of Sproles this year he is still a Dexter McCluster like threat in that when he does get the ball in his hands he is very, very dangerous. If he were to be forced to sit out Sunday it certainly wouldn’t hurt KC’s chances.
Monday Chargers coach Norv Turner reported that Sproles was dealing with a headache Monday but the coach was hoping he would be cleared to play Sunday.
Floyd has been dealing with a nagging hamstring injury for a number of weeks now, though he was able to play Sunday vs. the Raiders. He was fairly productive, catching 5 balls for 72 yards.
Perhaps San Diego’s most dangerous player outside of Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates has been playing through what is said to be a very painful foot injury. It didn’t seem to slow him down on Sunday against the Raiders as he pulled in 6 receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown.
The talk out of San Diego is that Gates’ status isn’t likely to be known until late in the week. Don’t be surprised if he is a game time decision. Gates is one tough dude and if he can be out there, he will.
Still, there is no question a Gatesless Chargers would be an early Christmas present for the Chiefs.
Jackson held out all year, came back for a few plays and then promptly injured himself. Jackson was doubtful last week and did not play.
Jackson may be rusty but he is about twice as tall as Brandon Flowers and I’d rather not have him on the field Sunday. This is a big injury to keep an eye on.
Rookie RB Ryan Matthews was listed as probable for last week’s game but he did not play. I’m not really worried about Matthews even if he does play this week. On the ground, I am much more concerned about…
Tolbert rolls through defenses like a human bowling ball. The Raiders managed to contain him last week, holding the big man to 17 yards on 7 carries. Tolbert has an injured hand but he is likely to play.
Nanee caught a big pass against the Chiefs the last time these two teams met but his success was more due to a blown coverage by the Chiefs’ secondary than his own talent. Naanee isn’t that big of a threat but he is dealing with a hamstring injury that could keep him out Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs
After looking at the horror show that is the Chargers injury report, KC’s doesn’t look half bad. Here are a couple of players to keep an eye on Wednesday when the Chiefs release their first official injury report for the Chargers game.
Flowers has been dealing with hamstring and ankle issues. He had to leave Sunday’s game against the Broncos multiple times but according to Flowers, he was just dealing with cramps.
The Chiefs need Flowers on the field Sunday to help protect against the potent San Diego passing attack. Look for him to be limited most of the week to rest up.
We brought you a report yesterday that Charles had a soft cast on his right hand. Charles seemed to fall awkwardly on the hand near the end of last week’s game against the Denver but he was able to come back in and help finish the Broncos off. He’ll likely be good to go Sunday.
Washington was seen in a walking boot yesterday. D-Wash has been terrible in coverage this year but he does provide depth to a banged up Chiefs secondary. If Kendrick Lewis can come back from injury this week, he and Jon McGraw should be able to hold things down.
Lewis has been dealing with a hamstring injury and was held out of Sunday’s contest against the Broncos. Veteran Jon McGraw, who has also been banged up, played well in his stead but the Chiefs need Lewis back this week.