The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping that linebacker Derrick Johnson and CB Brandon Flowers will be able to play next week when the Atlanta Falcons come to town for the season opener.
The Chiefs will already be hurting on defense when Matt Ryan and Co. come to Arrowhead. KC’s best pass rusher, OLB Tamba Hali will be suspended for the game, after breaking the NFL’s substance abuse policy. That means the Chiefs desperately need Johnson and Flowers, two Pro Bowl-caliber players, to be healthy and on the field.
Luckily for Chiefs fans, Romeo Crennel is feeling optimistic that the duo will be able to play.
“Derrick has been a fast healer,” Crennel said of Johnson. “We anticipate he’ll play ready to go. We’ll see through the course of the week how he progresses.”
As for Flowers, the coach is hoping the extended rest the team has given him this preseason following a heel injury, will have been enough.
“Hopefully with this time off and this rest, he will be feeling better and he will start doing more things and be able to help us out on Sunday,” Crennel said.
Crennel did, however, rule out FS Kendrick Lewis, who injured his shoulder in the team’s third preseason game.
“He’s been getting motion with his arm and he’s progressing, but I don’t think he’s going to be ready,” Crennel said.
Johnson and Flowers are the keys here. NT Anthony Toribio may or may not be able to play. Same goes with CB Jalil Brown, but if DJ and Flowers are on the field, the KC defense will have a pretty good chance of holding strong.
If one or both of them miss the game, however, the Chiefs are going to have a hard time slowing down Julio Jones and Roddy White.