Injuries are starting to take their toll on the Chiefs at this point. Feature back Spencer Ware has been lost for the season before September ever arrived. Safety Eric Berry only last three quarters into the season before the Chiefs had to say goodbye to the heart of their defense. Pass rushers Tamba Hali and Dadi Nicolas both began the season on the Physically Unable to Play list. Defensive back Ashton Lampkin tore his ACL and was stashed away on IR. Cornerback Steven Nelson has also locked down a spot on injured reserve, and much-needed starters like center Mitch Morse and linebacker Dee Ford and left tackle Eric Fisher are all questionable for Week 4 after missing time in practice.
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That’s a long list of players before even getting to Santos, who originally injured his groin at some point early in the preseason. Plenty of Chiefs fans can tell you who Sam Ficken is because we learned it over several weeks in the preseason, as Santos sat and the Chiefs went with the unproven but impressive product from Penn State. Santos was on schedule, however, to be ready for the regular season and he proved as much by even playing late in the preseason to prep for the real deal.
Once the regular season began, Santos looked like the accurate kicker we’ve all discovered him to be over the last three seasons. The Chiefs did well to sign the Brazilian as an upgrade over previous kicker Ryan Succop, who left in free agency to kick for the Tennessee Titans (where he still remains to this day). Through the first three weeks of the regular season, Santos was perfect in field goals and extra point attempts.
Then came the report that he had re-injured his groin. It circled back to the preseason injury and was worse than before. What took a few weeks in August was now going to take up to a half season. The Chiefs had no choice. Santos was placed on injured reserve.