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Injury recap: Chiefs notes ahead of Week 1

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With all the moves that have taken places for the Chiefs over the past week or so, let’s examine what we know about injury history.

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There were quite a few Kansas City Chiefs roster moves that took place over the holiday weekend, so it’s time a brief injury recap.

Injured reserve designations

QB Chad Henne: Henne was placed on IR post roster deadline, meaning that he will be eligible to return if the Chiefs choose to bring him back, provided that his rehab goes smoothly. This injury would be analogous to the injury to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif from last season with similar return-to-play timing. One consideration here is that this is Henne’s right leg, which he will be doing all his drop backs on. Rehab will address this, but in a quarterback who is essentially an athlete that does the same thing every time, recovery from this injury will be very specifically tailored.

WR Gehrig Dieter: As we spoke many times in the past, Dieter missed significant time in preseason due to back spasms. It is my belief, based upon prior experiences, that Dieter is more than likely suffering from a more underlying pathology, such as a disc herniation or nerve issue that is causing this issue. He was placed on season-ending IR prior to the cutdown. Based upon length of absence, as well as IR designation, it would not be surprising to me to see this player have some sort of procedure to address his current issue soon. This could be but is not limited to a microdiscectomy to address a disc herniation if such a condition is present. With the entire year to recover, whatever the issue may be, he will have plenty of time to completely heal. I would fully anticipate player to be ready for organized team activities (OTAs) in April.

DL Breeland Speaks: Speaks was placed on season-ending IR due to knee injury and subsequent surgery. While we do not know the exact procedure performed, what we do know is that his injury involved both a portion of the meniscus, as well as the MCL. While early reports by some (not by me) stated that the Chiefs anticipated an optimistic return (around three months), it is clear by placing him on season-ending IR, that is no longer the case. Likely procedures may include some combination of meniscal repairs, menisectomies, and MCL reconstruction as possibilities. No matter the procedure performed, it is now clear that Speaks was not going to be able to contribute in the coming four to five months of play. We will likely learn more about the procedure at some point during or after the season. As of now, no matter what was done, it is completely reasonable to believe that he will be ready to be active in next year’s offseason program.

Returning from injury

TE Deon Yelder: We were told that Yelder is “healthy and ready to roll” by Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Given the mechanism that we saw and talked about, plus the reported boot and crutch usage combined with total time lost, it is safe to say that Yelder suffered a moderate ankle sprain/minor high-ankle sprain. It is good to see him get back and ready for the regular season. Practice status and whether or not he continues to be on the injury report will give us more details.

New players acquired

RB LeSean McCoy: McCoy has been in league for some time, and for the most part, has been very durable. Has played in 147 of a 160 possible games in his career. He has only missed three games in the last three seasons. As far as injuries go, he has missed time for concussion, hamstring, rib, ankle and knee injuries. All the injuries are consistent with the position. He has been very durable compared to other players at the position over the course of his career.

OL Martinas Rankin: Rankin has no injury history in the NFL from active games. However, he did suffer an unspecified broken foot in Houston Texans rookie minicamp last year for which he had surgery and missed the 2018 season. He also has a history of a high-ankle sprain in 2017 while he was in college, a common injury for the position.

DB Alex Brown: It appears Brown has been with several teams without any official NFL experience. I could not find any recent injuries of note.

LB Emmanuel Smith: It appears that Smith has no active NFL experience while being on a couple offseason/practice squad rosters. No significant recent injuries of note found.

DE Cameron Malveaux: Malveaux has 13 games played over two teams in NFL since 2017. No significant recent injuries found.

DB Torry McTyer: McTyer has 22 games played since 2017 with Miami. I could not find any missed time or injuries of significance.