Prior to this season, the Kansas City Chiefs secondary was an area of strength many of us pointed to when talking about the defense of the future. All four players, two safeties and two corners, had been drafted in the last three years, played up to, or near, their billing coming out of college and generally played at a level that was considered acceptable for a fanbase that saw one of the NFL's worst defenses trotted onto the field every week.
Then the Chiefs spent a fourth round pick on a defensive back. No big deal, really, since special teams play is a point of emphasis with head coach Todd Haley and it's not unusual for mid-round defensive backs to be part of the special teams unit.
Then Bernard Pollard was released. Change of scheme, inability to cover, attitude problems - pick your poison for Pollard's release.
Now Jarrad Page hits IR and is done for the year. He was already on a one year contract, a tender offered to the Chiefs over the offseason, so it makes you wonder if Page is done with the Chiefs.
A couple weeks ago, Kent Babb of the Kansas City Star penned an item looking at how Haley views injuries. Basically, Babb writes, he views them as a sign of weakness.
"Haley has made it clear that the way players react to injuries might determine their futures in Kansas City," Babb wrote. "If players nurse their wounds too long or report minor issues as long-lasting problems, Haley takes mental notes."
Page had been bothered by a shoulder injury earlier in the season. It caused him to miss the Redskins game. The following game, against the Chargers, however, the Chiefs safety was a healthy scratch.
"I think he was healthy enough to play," Haley said of Page after the game. "I thought McGraw played really well the last couple of weeks when he’s been in there. It’s a roster deal there where we’re trying to juggle a lot of different spots."
Before the season ending injury, Page had already been a healthy scratch. Before the season ending injury, Haley had made it clear, for better or worse, that injuries will not be tolerated. Before the season ending injury, Page was a Herm guy, which hasn't won anyone any favors during the Haley/Pioli era.
I think it's possible that this is the last of Page in Kansas City, which means...cue the college free safety tapes for April.