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Arrowheadlines: Kansas City Chiefs News 9/17

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Good morning! Travel day for The Kansas City Chiefs as they head to Houston for tomorrow's game. Here is today's news from across the internet. Enjoy!

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What We Learned From Friday's Media Availability from Chiefs.com

Q: Have you ever gone into a game with just six [offensive linemen] -€” can you do that?

REID: "I think I've done it once before. I can't tell you that it's my favorite thing to do."

Q: Is this where the depth of your offensive line comes into play?

REID: "Yeah, it does. We have a good group there. Some guys that have some experience, so it becomes important in a situation like this."

Chiefs vs. Texans: Five Things to Watch from Chiefs.com

...Jah ReidZach Fulton and Bryan Witzmann are the next guys up along the offensive line right now. Head coach Andy Reid mentioned earlier in the week that Fulton would be the next man up at guard, so we'll see on Sunday who takes that other spot.

Overall, the Chiefs put out nine different starting combinations along the offensive line last year, so plugging in a new guy isn't a new thing for this group, but they do have a challenge this week with one of the NFL's top defensive fronts.

Chiefs at Texans: How to Watch and Listen from Chiefs.com

Game Date/Time

Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 12p.m. CT on CBS (KCTV5 Local)

Location

NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas

Forecast

High: 91°

Low: 75°

10 Things to Know about OL Zach Fulton from Chiefs.com

2. Best KC BBQ

Q39

Chiefs Eats: Texas-Style Steak Sandwich from Chiefs.com

This week's tailgate plate is an ode to the city of Houston. A Texas-style steak sandwich sautéed with onions, peppers and flavors, inspired by a Tex-Mex cuisine and paired with a side of fresh grilled corn. 

This recipe is so easy, you'll be calling kitchen plays in no time! Let's get down to business before kickoff. Who's hungry for a win?!

This week's Chiefs Eats presents, "Texas-Style Steak Sandwich" by StreetAndSpice.com

Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher is more relaxed, confident than ever from The Kansas City Star

Last September, Chiefs coach Andy Reid shifted Fisher from left tackle to right tackle in favor of Donald Stephenson before the season opener against the Texans, calling it a decision that gave the Chiefs the best chance to win. Yet, Fisher was a late scratch from the starting lineup, and while he was battling a sprained ankle at the time, Reid had said all week that he'd expected him to play. That, in addition to the fact he was healthy enough toplay one offensive snap and six snaps as a protector on the field-goal unit in that game,prompted many to question Fisher's toughness.

Fisher, however, bounced back in a big way and seemed to recapture both the toughness, and on-field nastiness, that helped him dominate in college and become the No. 1 overall pick in the first place. He eventually returned to the starting left tackle position against the Steelers in mid-October, and in that game, he was flagged for defending a teammate who was getting his leg twisted in a pile by a defender. And in the Chiefs' 30-0 wild-card over the Texans in the playoffs, Fisher got a chance to redeem himself, as he was caught delivering a shot to an on-his-knees J.J. Watt that caused the injured Watt to leave the game.

Chiefs offensive line faces trial against Texans from Chiefs Digest

"We've got a good group there, some guys that have some experience," Reid said. "That becomes important in a situation like this."

Center Mitch Morse agreed, noting the Chiefs practiced all week with the revamped line and prepared during training camp for eventualities such as this.

"It's really just the seven or eight guys are all plug and play," Morse said. "You have to be ready to play to start, as in this game anybody can get injured at anytime."

Morse said changes in communication and game plan are negligible with personnel changes for the Chiefs.

Knile Davis might get a chance to return a kickoff this week from ESPN

If any team doesn't want to kick to Davis, it figures to be the Texans. They were burned by Davis on the biggest play of last year's playoff game.

But Davis might get some work on Sunday. Houston's Nick Novak kicked off six times in last week's game against the Chicago Bears. Five were returned; one went for a touchback.

"He kicks it high," Davis said. "So I expect to get a chance this weekend. That's my mindset."

Eric Berry reminded the Chiefs on Sunday why his presence is so important from The Kansas City Star

"That was my first contact since the Pro Bowl, and I really didn't get any contact then," Berry said. "Monday was rough, Tuesday was rough, Wednesday was rough. I'm just now feeling better today."

Berry followed this with a laugh Friday, and it was clear he didn't mind. You'd have a hard time finding a player on the roster who loves football as much as the 28-year-old safety, so imagine how he felt midway through the third quarter, when he was finally back on the field — after all these months — and the Chiefs were getting walloped at home by 21 points.

It was at this point, teammates say, that No. 29 — the man who beat lymphoma in eight months and inspired his teammates by somehow returning in time for training camp last summer — re-established why his presence was so valuable, as the NFL's reigning comeback player of the year started chirping at his teammates before defensive series with prodding, but positive, verbal reinforcement.

Chiefs' Jeremy Maclin returns to practice on Friday from The Kansas City Star

A team spokesman said after Thursday's practice that his absence was not injury-related and that Maclin is expected to play in Sunday's road game against the Houston Texans.

Chiefs gameplan: Scouting the Houston Texans (1-0) from The Kansas City Star

3. Work together upfront to stunt the stunts

The Chargers tortured the Chiefs' youngish offensive line Sunday with an assortment of blitzes and stunts. Most of the effective ones were aimed at the right side of the line, specifically right-guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. He has a high ankle sprain and may not play, however, and the same goes for left guard Parker Ehinger, who suffered a concussion Wednesday. Their assumed replacements, Zach Fulton and Jah Reid, have lots of experience and might not be as vulnerable to the same line games, though they each have their issues. Still, if the Texans manage to get home against a banged-up line, quarterback Alex Smithneeds to be ready to find a gap and scramble. Both inside linebackers Benardrick McKinney(6-4, 260) and Max Bullough (6-3, 245) can be outhoofed in space, and remember, Smith broke off a dynamite 60-yard scramble in January that was called back due to a penalty.

Friday Fast Five: Week 2 from Chiefs Digest

2. Houston Texans banged up too

The Texans suffered a devastating loss last weekend when Brian Cushing left the game against Chicago with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

O'Brien called Cushing, "the heart and soul of our football team."

Starting left tackle Duane Brown also remains out for the Texans. He continues recovering from quadriceps surgery in January.

The Texans' biggest defensive threat, defensive end J.J.Watt, continues nursing a back injury. The team listed Watt limited in practice Thursday, but he played 88 percent of his team's snaps against the Bears Sunday.

Week 2: Friday injury report from Chiefs Digest

HOUSTON TEXANS

OUT: T Duane Brown and ILB Brian Cushing
QUESTIONABLE: G Jeff Allen, DE Christian Covington and T Derek Newton

Practice report

Did not participate in practice: T Duane Browne (knee), ILB Brian Cushing (knee), DE Christian Covington (groin) and T Derek Newton (Knee)
Limited participation: G Jeff Allen (calf) and J.J. Watt (back)
Full participation: FB Jay Prosch (ankle) and OLB John Simon (wrist)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

OUT: RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, LG Parker Ehinger and LB Sam Barrington
DOUBTFUL: RB Jamaal Charles

Practice report

Did not participate in practice: RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle), LG Parker Ehinger (concussion), LB Tamba Hali (knee) and LB Sam Barrington (hamstring)
Limited participation: RB Jamaal Charles (knee)
Full participation: RB Spencer Ware (toe)

The Chiefs And Texans Are More Than AFC Afterthoughts from FiveThirtyEight

Two other teams are threatening to break into the AFC's upper crust, and they happen to face off in Week 2. Kansas City has won 11 consecutive regular-season games, the longest active streak in the NFL. Houston finished 2015 on a hot streak of its own, winning seven of its final nine games; after an opening-day win in Chicago, the Texans join the Chiefs as the only AFC teams to win at least eight of their last 10 regular-season games. Yet despite those results, neither of these teams are viewed as part of the AFC's top tier. And that's because both teams are viewed as having relatively low ceilings. So the question for this season is, can either team raise its ceiling?

The Chiefs have much to lose if KeiVarae Russell makes it with Bengals from ESPN

The Chiefs, with only one former No. 1 pick at cornerback in Marcus Peters, are the team more in need of a cornerback both in the short and long terms.

They would have had more to gain than the Bengals by seeing if Russell improves over time. They're the ones with a lot to lose if Russell goes on to become a productive player for the Bengals or some team other than the Chiefs.

The Chiefs evidently believed that with Peters, two former third-round picks in Phillip Gaines and Steven Nelson and this year's sixth-round choice in D.J. White, Russell was a luxury they didn't have time to afford.

Facing Chiefs will feel a little different for Texans' Jeff Allen from The Houston Chronicle

For four years, blocking for the Kansas City Chiefs became a way of life for Texans offensive guardJeff Allen

The Chicago native became friends with his fellow blockers, breaking bread with them frequently after grueling practices.

Now, Allen is preparing to face his former team for the first time Sunday at NRG Stadium. Allen acknowledged that it will be somewhat of a strange feeling initially.

John McClain's guide to Texans vs. Chiefs from The Houston Chronicle

In the season opener, the Chiefs intercepted Brian Hoyer's first pass as a Texan and he didn't make it through the game before being benched for Ryan Mallett in a 27-20 loss.

Fast forward 17 weeks and the Chiefs returned to NRG and applied a 30-o whipping to the Texans. Knile Davis set the tone by returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown as Kansas City thoroughly humiliated Houston 30-0 for its first playoff win since January 1994 against ... you guessed it, the Oilers at the Astrodome.

NFL Week 2 Predictions: Chiefs Down Texans, Saints Upset Giants from The Wall Street Journal

Last year, when Osweiler was in Denver, the Chiefs held him out of the end zone until garbage time in the final two minutes. But that was Osweiler's first career start. Jamaal Charles isn't expected to play again as he continues to recover from his busted knee suffered last season. But that's no worries for the Chiefs and Ware, who didn't miss a beat in Week 1.

The theory of this game is that Smith, while being even more boring than the commercial breaks, is very efficient in managing a game and should not be getting points even on the road against a quarterback like Osweiler, who has proven nothing yet despite his $72 million contract.

Texans' J.J. Watt ready to go for Chiefs game from The Houston Chronicle

"He did fine," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said Friday. "He had a good week of practice and he'll be ready to go."

The three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year had offseason surgery to repair five torn or partially torn groin and abdominal muscles in addition to the back procedure.

Texans report: Bernardrick McKinney takes over role as play-caller on defense from The Houston Chronicle

Cushing was the designated player with a helmet radio device to communicate with the coaching staff, and he wore a helmet with a green dot to indicate that status.

Now, inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney will communicate with coordinator Romeo Crennel when he sends in the calls to the huddle.

"I did it a little bit in the preseason," McKinney said. "I get the call and pass it on to the defense. It's just getting the call and getting us in whatever personnel they want us in."

At 6-4, 260 pounds with 4.65 speed in the 40-yard dash and a 401/2-inch vertical leap, McKinney is one of the most athletic players on the defense.

Commentary: At Arrowhead, A Rally—And A Cause from KCUR

At Arrowhead, Chiefs players and coaches linked arms as broadcasters read an official statement explaining their "respectful...solidarity" and also their intention "to be proactive when change is needed." At the end of the chain, cornerback Marcus Peters silently raised a gloved fist.

What started weeks ago as a protest over racial inequality has evolved into a call to action, to open lines of communication and back community-building initiatives. It's good that the league and its leaders—including Chiefs Coach Andy Reid—recognize this. "What the players are doing right now is important," he said.

Fair play is a sacred ideal in sports. It's also a promise—at least in theory, and the 14th amendment—on which our nation rests, and that our anthem supposedly represents. If not, then what exactly is it that so proudly we hail?

Protests Power Positive Change from The Oberlin Review

When team owners and administrators submit to performing acts of national pride for less-than-patriotic reasons, they rope players into that practice as well. They reinforce the assumption — in very elaborate, in-your-face ways — that sports and traditional expressions of patriotism go hand in hand. This compels most players to cover their hearts, stand up, shut up and just play football.

In a modern sports world, where branding is everything and players risk losing huge endorsement deals over any type of protest, activism is often viewed as too much of a liability. Protests of patriotism are particularly taboo. But when the majority of players in the league are racial minorities who witness and experience daily injustice, how can sponsors expect them to display patriotism without a second thought?

Every once in a while, an athlete emerges that is willing to risk money, fame and being called unpatriotic to protest discrimination.

Kaepernick's protest: Is it working? What does it say? from The Dayton Daily News

It wasn't typical for NFL players to stand for the national anthem until 2009 — before then, it was customary for players to stay in the locker room as the anthem played. ...

As the San Francisco Chronicle's Ann Killion noted, if you think Kaepernick's gesture is an empty one, you need to grapple with the fact that "standing for the national anthem before a sporting event is an equally empty gesture for many people." Consider that, as Marcus Peters raised his right fist in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium, thousands of fans interrupted the supposedly sacred anthem to yell out "home of the CHIEFS!" Thousands more jersey-wearing, beer-swilling patriots booed President Obama's pre-recorded Sept. 11 speech as it poured out of PA systems in Baltimore, Seattle, and New Jersey. Patriotism!

Rapinoe will be painted as selfish, but her kneel was selfless from ESPN W

Instead of criticizing Rapinoe for exercising her right to protest, perhaps we should ask this question: Why she is the only white professional athlete to kneel so far? Because the silence from white athletes is deafening.

The Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs players locking arms in unity is the closest a white NFL player has come to joining the protests. But there is no risk or objection in linking arms -- fundamentally, there is no protest, and that is the point. It's a cop-out.

Each time a player of color takes a knee or raises a fist, they put themselves and their livelihoods at risk. Brandon Marshall, a linebacker with the Denver Broncos, lost two endorsements following his kneel before the season opener at Mile High Stadium. Hiding behind linked arms and team statements shields players from backlash -- but also from taking a stance.

AmeriCorps program provides mentors, tutors in five KCPS schools from FOX4KC

The Corps members will be spread across five schools in Kansas City. They will work alongside teachers to provide extra support, mentoring, and tutoring for students. Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan also serves as the board chair.

"What I love about city year is that it works. It's proven. It has a positive impact on the kids. It has a positive impact on our teachers and it has a positive impact on our community," he said.

Jim Lynch: Things I Know from UND.com

Jim Lynch was captain of the 1966 University of Notre Dame football squad that finished as the consensus national champion. A linebacker from Lima, Ohio, Lynch as a senior in '66 earned consensus first-team All-America honors and led the team in tackles with 106. He won the Maxwell Award as the top player in the country, earned Academic All-America honors and also was awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the National Football Foundation. Lynch went on to star for 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1992 he was selected to the NFF's College Football Hall of Fame. Lynch and around 70 other members of the 1966 squad have returned to campus this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their national title. This is his story of Notre Dame's 1966 national championship season.