How Will The Kansas City Chiefs Handle Preseason Injuries?

KANSAS CITY MO - AUGUST 27: Cameron Sheffield #55 of the Kansas City Chiefs is carted off the field after suffering an injury during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Arrowhead Stadium on August 27 2010 in Kansas City Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

Every team is taking its licks at this point in the preseason. Even some of Kansas City's fiercest rivals have found their own hearts beating fast and fingers crossed in the hopes that the injuries before them aren't that serious. With Denver, losing their best pass rusher (by far) in Elvis Dumervil looks like it will hurt them nearly all of 2010. For the Raiders, that feeling came swiftly last night as Jason Campbell bit the dust on a sack by 49ers linebacker Travis LaBoy.

But what about the Chiefs? At this point, how should the injuries suffered thus far affect the Chiefs coming into the regular season. It's impossible to fully know, given the mysterious nature of the severity of some (and the Chiefs' penchant for holding the cards close to the vest). But it doesn't hurt to try, right?

Maurice Leggett, DB
The hit was brutal in the fourth quarter of the Tampa Bay preseason game. For those who missed it, the collision with the Bucs' running back Kareem Huggins left Leggett requiring a stretcher to be carted off of the field. The team watched in horror as their teammate seemed to suffered what most NFL players fear the most -- some sort of spinal injury. The image, suffice to say, was difficult to watch.

But Todd Haley has come forth in recent days with the news that "Everything looks good. There is nothing spinal-related, anything like that." Leggett was even walking on the field with the rest of the team in the last couple of days, so the progression looks positive. Still, when you've suffered a neck injury to that degree of caution, it's hard to tell exactly what to expect from Leggett in terms of on-field ability.

The Chiefs drafted well to add to their defensive backfield this offseason and even having a veteran like Travis Daniels around can't hurt either. With rookies like Javier Arenas and Kendrick Lewis around, they might find a bit more playing time outside of special teams than they originally thought.

Chiefs Ability to Handle: A-

Cameron Sheffield, LB
After the helmet-to-helmet hit on Mike Bell, the Eagles running back, Sheffield appeared to have suffered the same fate as Maurice Leggett the previous week. Another Chiefs defensive player appeared to have suffered a major injury and the sense of deja vu originally had some fans feeling if some voodoo doll had been placed on the Chiefs defensive unit. However, the early news is positive as Sheffield was released from the hospital and Adam Schefter reports that he has movement in all his extremities.

That's great news for Sheffield and also what matters most. However, it still begs the question of what the Chiefs can expect on the field from Sheffield, if anything. The Chiefs maintained their linebacking corps from the previous season for the most part and Sheffield was the only new addition to a group that most identified as a key area of need going into the offseason. Thus, it's easy to see Sheffield's injury as a greater one -- even concerning Sheffield's learning curve -- as more difficult to take than Leggett.

While Sheffield might not have been on the field an incredible amount this season, it seemed he was bound to get some reps rotating in for some weathered veterans. Some had hopes that Sheffield could become a solid pass rushing prospect from the outside. For now, the Chiefs will have to wait and hope that others like Andy Studebaker can fill that void since the Chiefs didn't add much of anything else.

Chiefs Ability to Handle: B
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