The Kansas City Chiefs may have an outside linebacker shortage on their hands.
That fact became apparent during Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars when the team had to deal with injuries to both Justin Houston and Tanoh Kpassagnon. Houston strained his hamstring and Kpassagnon tweaked his ankle, per Reid after the game.
It was revealed Monday, via NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, that Houston’s injury may be more serious than the Chiefs first thought.
#Chiefs LB Justin Houston left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury that could knock him out a few weeks, source says. It’s significant enough to make him very iffy for this Sunday vs. the #Patriots.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 8, 2018
The news leaves the Chiefs with just two completely healthy OLBs at the moment—rookie Breeland Speaks, who is still developing at the position, and Dee Ford, who was actually questionable going into Sunday’s game against the Jaguars as he dealt with a groin injury. Ford was ejected from the game Sunday after taking two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
With the status of Houston and Kpassagnon unknown headed into Sunday night’s game against the New England Patriots, Reid said Chiefs general manager Brett Veach is working on it.
“He’s dealing with all that right now,” Reid said of Veach. “I don’t have an answer for you on it, but he’s looking at some different options—kind of juggling all that today, and he started on it [Sunday] night. We’ve got to finish up some evaluations from the docs and then we’ll go on from there. He’s been on that since the evening [Sunday]. I can’t tell you what the answers are—I don’t know that yet.”
If it comes to it, an interesting in-house option is Robert McCray, the only linebacker on the Chiefs’ practice squad. If the Chiefs opt for a player not currently on the team, ideally it would be someone who has experience in the system.
“You want to bring in the best players you can, and then if they’ve been here, that’s just an added addition to it,” Reid added. “Those are the guys [who benefit] from a familiarity standpoint, whether it’s with how we do things or the actual scheme.”
This will be a point to watch all week as the Chiefs prepare for New England.