Counting down the Chiefs biggest injury concerns down the stretch

Every team is hurting right now and here's where the primary injury concerns are for the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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3. Offensive tackle

In one sense, you could say that the injury to Donovan Smith actually opened a long-term door for the Chiefs that will yield greater results for the franchise down the road. But in the interim, there are some very real concerns here that could spring up with a few games left in the regular season and the playoffs on deck.

The Chiefs signed Donovan Smith to be the veteran anchor opposite Jawaan Taylor in a complete renovation of the offensive tackle position. Through a half season, however, the results were rather middling. Each vet had his strengths, but penalties from both were maddening and then Smith was forced to the sidelines with a neck injury.

Enter Wanya Morris, the Chiefs' third-round pick from this last spring who was drafted to compete as a swing tackle in the short term and a potential blindside protector for the long haul. It's the sort of mid-round roll of the dice that Brett Veach took on Lucas Niang (who is still around, by the way), and it made sense to plan 12 months out for a real competition at left tackle.

These days, Morris is entrenched next to Joe Thuney and is holding his own. That's not to say some rookie mistakes aren't being made, but the fear that his floor would be much lower than a savvy vet like Smith's hasn't been realized. And now the Chiefs can move forward with some certainty that they have their left tackle if they like Morris's ceiling.

For our purposes, however, with Smith on the mend and Prince Tega Wanogho on injured reserve, the unit is thin overall outside. Niang is the backup ready if something happens to Taylor, but things could get ugly in a hurry if the Chiefs suffer any more losses at the bookends.