The Kansas City Chiefs are coming into another week banged up quite a bit on the injury front, and the situation is made more complicated by the fact that they're hosting the Denver Broncos on a short week instead of getting the typical amount of rest and rehab. Such is life in the NFL where they insist on someone playing on Thursday Night Football.
The Chiefs will be on TNF for the second time this season, but the good news is that, at least on paper, their opponents are perhaps the worst overall team in the National Football League. The Broncos are 1-4 in the standings with a defense that's porous, to keep things nice, and plenty of chatter about sending several players away at the NFL's trade deadline. They already dealt pass rusher Randy Gregory to the 49ers.
The AFC West rivals, however, always play the Chiefs tough despite having lost every single matchup going back to 2015—the longest active streak in the league. That means the Chiefs will have to brace for the Broncos best efforts, whatever level of challenge that might bring.
For the Chiefs, significant injuries have caused three key players to be listed as questionable—one from each facet of the game. All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce is working on an ankle injury that limited him in practice this week after slipping on the turf at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis in Week 5. Kelce is expected to play at this point, but it will be interesting to see what a short week meant for his turnaround.
George Karlaftis is the newest defender on the injured list as he deals with a hamstring injury. He was also limited in practice this week, and if he's unable to go, with Charles Omenihu still suspended, the Chiefs' edges could have a real problem generating much pressure. Expect Felix Anudike-Uzomah to get a chance for more reps than ever in his sixth pro game.
As for special teams, punter Tommy Townsend is also questionable, which could become a more significant factor than the casual fan might expect. The Broncos lost both games last year by six points or less, and field position becomes a very important element in close games. The Chiefs have one of the best punters in the game in Townsend but if that edge becomes a weakness, things could get interesting.
The Chiefs host the Broncos in primetime at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday, October 12.