Juan Thornhill injury update: Chiefs safety has torn ACL
By Matt Conner
The severity of Juan Thornhill’s knee injury will lead to an extended absence that will knock him out of the entire postseason as initially feared.
The fears of many Kansas City Chiefs fans, players and coaches were realized on Monday when the official test results on safety Juan Thornhill’s knee were released. The rookie defensive back will be forced to sit out the rest of the postseason given the severity of the injury, a torn ACL per head coach Andy Reid.
Thornhill initially went down in the end zone in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 17. It looked like it could be a major injury in the moment given that he went down with a non-contact injury, but nothing was certain until tests were ran. Now Thornhill faces a long uphill climb to return. Fortunately he’s ready for it.
For a team that remade its entire secondary heading into the season, Thornhill has been a rookie revelation at free safety. He’s started all 16 games for the Chiefs in 2019 and came away with 3 interceptions and 5 passes defended. He also allowed only 13 completions on 28 receptions thrown his way this season, good for a opponent’s passer rating of 43.0.
As Thornhill now turns his attention to rehabilitation and preparation for the next season, the Chiefs have to figure out how to replace him next to Tyrann Mathieu. Armani Watts is the most likely player to step in, but the Chiefs also have some versatility in the secondary with some corners like Kendall Fuller who can step in at safety with other options like Dan Sorensen and Jordan Lucas also around.