The Chiefs are missing rookie defensive end Mike Danna as they prepare for the Raiders.
The Kansas City Chiefs have to be excited by what they’ve seen so far from rookie defensive end Michael Danna, but the Michigan product might not be able to experience his first official game against the rival Las Vegas Raiders if he’s unable to return to practice soon.
Danna was the only Chiefs player unable to practice at all on Thursday, a sign that his hamstring injury could keep him out of Sunday’s scheduled game between the visiting Raiders and the Chiefs.
Danna left the Chiefs last game against the New England Patriots with the injury and was declared out shortly thereafter.
The Chiefs selected Danna in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and at the time, it was considered the biggest surprise of the draft class. Some analysts felt it was too early, but the Chiefs loved his versatility, talent, work ethic, and intelligence. Those facets have served him well at the pro level, because he’s taken well to Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme through his first four games.
Through his first three games, Danna was playing just under 50 percent of all defensive snaps at a position already loaded with talent for the Chiefs. It helped to have Alex Okafor miss some games with a hamstring injury of his own, but the Chiefs also already had Frank Clark, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Taco Charlton and Demone Harris. It’s not as if Danna was forced into playing time due to lack of options.
Danna responded to the opportunity by playing mostly mistake-free football. He’s proven capable of sealing the edge against the run, and he’s shown some good moves to shed blocks and disrupt the pocket a bit as well. While the Chiefs have the talent to compensate for his potential loss, certainly the team will be glad to see him back and healthy as he continues to develop.
The Chiefs still have another day of practice before injury designations for Sunday are given.