The confusion arose during Smith’s second concussion protocol examination, according to Burkholder. The team’s medical staff determined Smith would not return to following the second injury while they completed the NFL’s concussion protocol. Burkholder then told the team’s public relations staff that Smith was out of the game with a concussion, even though he had not yet completed the mandated testing. Smith later passed the league’s concussion protocol a second time.
"As far as if it was a cheap shot or not? I can’t answer that. I’m not. I enjoy my money too much to make a comment on that. So, the medical part, Rick [Burkholder] took care of it all."
"I think it's a positive thing," Reid said. "He's been checking with Dr. Andrews. This person has done his surgery, which this isn't uncommon. Let's just figure out what it is and go from there. He had a little swelling in it, so let's figure out what it is."
That portion includes a SCAT — or a sports concussion assessment test — that includes memory recall, balance testing, symptom questioning and eye testing and is administered via iPad.
"When we got to the SCAT part of it, he didn't do well enough to be able to return to play," Burkholder said.
"It'll be a stretch for him to play this week — I'll tell you that," Reid said.
Reid said the Chiefs don't have to make a decision on whether to activate Houston from the physically unable to perform list until Nov. 9.
But the Chiefs have reason to believe that for their rush, the best is yet to come. Ford has seven sacks, putting him in position to challenge for the league title. Buffalo’s Lorenzo Alexander leads with nine, but his team has played one more game than the Chiefs.
But the fact is the Chiefs got those big pass plays when Nick Foles was their quarterback and not Smith. The two shared the position because of Smith’s concussion that wasn’t a concussion, and the offense looked different when Foles was in charge. Foles, in 22 pass attempts, completed four throws of 28 yards or more. Smith, with 19 attempts had none. Smith, in the season’s first six games, had eight throws of 28 yards or more.
With so little depth at the position — the Packers have only Don Jackson available among the full-time tailbacks — Davis’ release comes as a bit of a surprise. Perhaps by releasing him now, the team avoids surrendering a draft pick to the Kansas City Chiefs, though the conditions of the deal never became public.
Playing for the Kansas City Chiefs in relief of the injured Alex Smith, Foles would go on to complete three more passes of 28 yards or more in the 30-14 win. "He wasn’t shy," Reid said with a smile, "about slinging it around."
The Chiefs are now winners of three in a row and nine straight home games, spanning over 386 days. Doing this without some of their most talented players can only give Chiefs fans optimism, as the return of Charles and Houston will only improve their depth. The key stat to watch for Kansas City remains to be the turnover battle, as Kansas City moved to 24-4 since 2013 when they have a better turnover differential than their opponent.
Burkholder explained Smith passed the initial five-question checklist part of the league's concussion protocol on the sideline. Smith went into the locker room because of a laceration on his ear, and passed further tests for a concussion while in the locker room, too. Smith exited the game the second time after taking another hit to the head and later was ruled out with a concussion, which Burkholder explained was a miscommunication.
"That's what an unaffiliated [neurological consultant] believes, that's what [team doctor Mike] Monaco believes, that's what I believe now," trainer Rick Burkholder said Monday. "He's been absolutely asymptomatic."