On Tuesday, the Chiefs designated injured inside linebacker Justin March-Lillard to return. March-Lillard, a starter who has been on injured reserve since mid-October with a broken bone in his hand, has not been added to the 53-man roster yet, but the Chiefs are now allowed to bring him back immediately, provided they clear a roster spot, since March-Lillard has been on injured-reserve for at least eight weeks.
The NFL allows teams to bring one player back from injured reserve per year, so the Chiefs' decision means Charles, who underwent additional knee surgery five weeks ago, won't be returning this year.
But 2016 Jamaal Charles, coming off surgeries to both knees in November? March-Lillard is the choice, because the Chiefs desperately need some help to aid the league's 28th-ranked run defense, which got gashed for 5.1 yards per carry in a 19-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
"I feel like I've kind of been there," said tight end Travis Kelce, who was selected for the second straight year. "I got my eyes on a different prize. It's kind of routine right now. I'm not even thinking about it."
"The Super Bowl," Kelce said. "Obviously the point isn't to be in Orlando. It's to be in Houston."
If the Broncos fix, or at least minimize, those issues they can hang with the Chiefs as they have proven in their last matchup. It is win now or go home, so we’re about to find how much fire Siemian and the rest of the offense has in their gut in this game.
Jerry McGuirk had never been to an NFL game, before an anonymous donor gave McGuirk his or her tickets to the Dec. 8 Kansas City Chiefs game versus the Oakland Raiders. "You have blessed me more than I have ever been blessed in my life," McGuirk told Brooke Bollinger, a hospice employee who helped orchestrate the event for McGuirk.
Coach Andy Reid said the team just wants to back off on work for Houston. He called the problem common for players recovering from injuries similar to the All Pro linebacker’s "He’s got some swelling on his knee," Reid said. "We’ll get that taken care of. We don’t think it’s big thing. This kind of comes with the territory of where he’s at in the whole recovery part of this."
"I mean, I was there last year," Kelce said of the Pro Bowl," so I kind of had the expectation of reaching that accomplishment again, knowing we had the same core group of guys on offense. If you have guys around you playing amazing, you get the accolades off that."
Siemian gave the Broncos another lead in overtime by engineering a field goal drive. Again, the defense couldn’t stop the Chiefs. True, the Broncos offense stunk Sunday in failing to score a touchdown against New England. The defensive players were grumbling at the offense following the game. But the previous game against the Chiefs says the defense had no right to be mad.
Utilizing Tyreek Hill Reid: "He’s a smart kid. At the same time, I try to weigh that out. You surely don’t want to overload him with stuff. We probably won’t have any plays in for him this week [laughs]."
Meanwhile Derek Wolfe had his oft-injured neck crop back up again last week. It’s looking a little less than optimistic on that front. "Derek is doing well," Kubiak said of Wolfe. "I don’t know if he’ll be out here tomorrow or not. We’ll see. I think he has a good chance to get there. We’ll just stay positive and hopefully he can get there."
The other scenario in which the Chiefs could earn a playoff spot is if the Baltimore Ravens (8-6) lose or tie to the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5). That game kicks off in Pittsburgh Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CT, so there’s a chance the Chiefs will have already earned a playoff spot before they kick off against the Broncos on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. CT.