I don't want to say that Dontari Poe is irreplaceable but it's damn close. Big men of his size are very unique, especially ones with the endurance that he has. That's why the news of his surgery for a herniated disc is so disheartening for Kansas City Chiefs fans. Poe is expected to return sometime early in the season.
Let me count the ways that Poe's injury sucks...
1. This sucks because Jaye Howard, who will replace him, doesn't have much experience at nose tackle. Howard lined up at end last year when DeVito was injured. Other nose tackle options would be DeVito and rookie Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who probably has a little ways to go. Andy Reid didn't mention him but Nick Williams is also on the roster. Either way, the Chiefs are losing depth on the d-line because someone (probably two people) will have to be taken to replace Poe.
2. This sucks because there just aren't that many big men out there. America may be a fat country but it's not easy to find 350 pound dudes who can move as well as Poe. It's hard to replace him, especially the first week of training camp.
3. This sucks because it will take two players to replace him. Poe was a freak of nature who played sooo many snaps. Normal humans can't do that. So the Chiefs will probably need two people to replace him -- someone playing full time and someone to spell that person.
4. This sucks because the Chiefs, who have already lost Sean Smith for three games, will face the Broncos and Packers without their best defensive lineman. If the injury spills into October, which seems reasonable that it would, we're talking about games against the Bengals, Bears, Vikings and Steelers.
5. This sucks because it's such bad news on a day that we should be celebrating that Eric Berry is back.