Kansas City Chiefs Injury Report: Secondary Injuries Piling Up


The Chiefs have an off day today before returning to the practice field, so we won’t know the official injury report until Wednesday evening. What we do expect to see are a lot of defensive backs on the report.

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Eric Berry (ankle), Sean Smith (groin), Jamell Fleming (groin), and Chris Owens (knee) are all working through some kind of injury. Smith has been playing with a groin injury that he sustained the Miami Dolphins game but has not missed a game. The same cannot be said for Berry and Owens, who have been out for multiple games with their injuries.

The result has been for various characters to step up and fill the void. Ron Parker has been a surprising find as a strong safety replacement for Berry while he has been out with his ankle injury. In Sunday’s win over the Rams he recorded an interception, a sack, and four tackles. His emergency has even led to the discussion for whether or not the Chiefs should retain Berry after the end of the season.

Rookie Phillip Gaines has also been excellent in his two games replacing Owens. The third round pick from this year’s draft has allowed on two of his seven targets to end in a completion and those two completions have totaled only 15 yards. Gaines also got his first career pressure on Sunday with a quarterback hit on one of Bob Sutton’s crazy blitz plays.

Moving forward the Chiefs will likely have Smith back for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, but there is a realistic chance Owens, Fleming, and Berry will not be available on Sunday. Andy Reid said on Monday that Owens would not have practiced on Monday if the Chiefs had held a workout so that does not bode well for his return this week.

Berry has missed every game since spraining his ankle in week two against the Denver Broncos and just put in his first week of practice last week, albeit in a limited capacity. One would have to assume he would have to make it through a full week of being a full participant in practice before the Chiefs let him go back on the field. Remember, Berry is also dealing with a heel injury that may be slowing his progress with his high ankle sprain.

Fleming’s status is less known. We should have a better idea about where he stands tomorrow evening.

Good news in all of this is the Chiefs have proven to have some quality depth in the secondary, which has helped them become the best pass coverage unit in the NFL based on yards per game. And it doesn’t hurt the Jets are an awful team who will be starting Michael Vick this week for the first time all season.

Hopefully Berry, Smith, Fleming, and Owens can get back to 100-percent soon so the Chiefs will be at full capacity when they have to play Seattle and Denver.