Nico Johnson's injury and Kansas City Chiefs looking at linebackers

Peter Aiken

The KC Chiefs are said to be looking around the veteran linebacker market. Chiefs linebacker Nico Johnson is also injured. Are these two things related?

The Kansas City Chiefs are stronger at inside linebacker following the arrival of Akeem Jordan (the current starter) and Nico Johnson (fourth round rookie). But they may still be looking for help.

Adam Caplan reported on Friday that the Chiefs were "sniffing" around the veteran inside linebacker market but not looking to pay top dollar ... probably because they can't afford it. The Chiefs have just over a million bucks in cap space right now.

That's a little strange I thought. Weren't the Chiefs happy with Jordan and Johnson?

Or maybe there's just a little more to the story. Remember that Nico is injured. We spoke with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid on Friday afternoon and one of the questions was on Nico, who sprained his ankle last week. Reid called it a high ankle sprain, which can take anywhere from a week to four, five or even six weeks. Just depends on the severity.

"I don't think it was a real bad one," Reid said. "Not that any high ankle sprain is a good one. There are different variations of it. I think this was on the lower end of it."

This injury happened one week ago, Saturday night's game in Pittsburgh. The thing is, no one would blink an eye if this type of injury cost a player two weeks. That's why I'm wondering about what it means for Week 1.

"We'll see what it looks like this next week," Reid said. "You just have to see how he can function, you get a pretty good idea of those pretty quick."

So you hope he's ready by Week 1 but I'm not certain that the Chiefs can say for sure that he will be.

According to the Chiefs most recent depth chart, Orie Lemon would be the next to step in ... if he makes the team, which not all 53-man roster predictions do. And if they actually follow the depth chart, which they don't always do. Akeem Jordan remains the starter at left inside linebacker.

Reid also said that Nico isn't used to missing practices or games. "I'm not sure that he's ever missed," Reid said. Nico has been getting after Chiefs head trainer Rick Burkholder to get back on the field. So the attitude is right.

Next Wednesday the Chiefs will issue their first injury report of the 2013 NFL season. By next Friday they will have to declare him probable, questionable, doubtful or out, assuming he's on the injury report.

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