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Chiefs Trying to Stay Healthy, Fill Running Back Void

The Kansas City Chiefs are trying to stay healthy but that plan has been interrupted for the time being.  Here are where the Chiefs stand with a few injuries and how they lined up in practice today (practice info courtesy Josh Looney of

Offensive line

Wade Smith continues to take first team snaps at center as Rudy Niswanger misses his third consecutive practice.  

Niswanger injured his knee on a quarterback sneak play last Sunday.  The injury looked painful and he was ultimately carted off.  Head coach Todd Haley indicated that he would be back this season and might even be back in time for the Chiefs next game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on November 8th.

Branden Albert continued to take first team reps at left tackle but, as Josh Looney of pointed out, he had a heavier limp than yesterday.

Running back

All other spots on the offensive line were business as usual but who will be running behind that line with Larry Johnson's set to miss at least the Jaguars game?

Jamaal Charles took reps as the first team running back.  As we pointed out yesterday, Charles has had more than ten carries just once in his NFL career.  I'm sure the Chiefs have a plan for the running game but I would guess that the plan doesn't include Charles taking all the snaps LJ used to get.

Dantrell Savage and Kolby Smith split time as Charles' backup.  Savage, like Charles, has never been asked to consistently take the full load so it will be interesting to see how he fits in.  Smith isn't technically on the active roster yet but with each day it looks like he will be come next Sunday.

Smith is the only running back with a history of taking a large grunt of the work.


Jon McGraw skipped out on the team portion of practice today as he continues to rehab what Haley called a strained leg.

Wide receiver

Interestingly, Bobby Engram took first team reps as the slot receiver.  Lance Long was promoted from the practice squad last week and filled that role.  He left last week's game with a head injury but appeared to be fine.  He missed practice earlier this week, which appears to be a precautionary move.