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Arrowheadlines: Texans running back Dameon Pierce will miss game against the Chiefs

Chiefs headlines for Wednesday, December 14

Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

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Dameon Pierce Suffers High Ankle Sprain | Battle Red Blog (Houston Texans SB Nation site)

KPRC

HOUSTON – Texans standout rookie running back Dameon Pierce suffered a relatively mild high-ankle sprain Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys that is regarded as likely to sideline him for at least one game, according to league sources.

High-ankle sprains tend to linger generally, but this isn’t regarded as severe. A source characterized his status as fluid and predicted Pierce could return within a range of one to two weeks.

Pierce is currently expected to return to play at some point this season depending on how quickly the ankle responds with no structural damage revealed during a magnetic resonance imaging exam Monday, per sources.

Pierce hurt his left ankle Sunday in a loss to the Cowboys at A&T Stadium, briefly going back in the game after having his cleat retaped. He was taken out of the game when it became clear that he couldn’t push off his foot, running for one yard on his final carry of the game.

Pierce, considered by many to land offensive rookie of the year honors, was on his way to taking the top season rushing yards spot away from Houston Texans legend Arian Foster. However, this trip to the injury list might derail that dream.

Pierce currently has 939 rushing yards on 220 carries for a 4.26 yard per carry average. He’s racked up 54 first downs, four touchdowns and has a longest runoff 75 yards. Very promising career ahead if the Texans can build a winner around him.

Ranking Super Bowl 2023 contenders: Chiefs, Eagles headline 11 teams best suited for a title run | CBS Sports

1. Chiefs (10-3)

The contingent of Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce is very comparable to the old Patriots trio of Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in terms of reliability: when working together, they are the standard. Mahomes isn’t invulnerable, of course; sometimes his acrobatics lead to giveaways, and Kansas City can sport a boom-or-bust pass “D” on the other end. But as long as No. 15 is under center, the Chiefs simply cannot be written off. With Kelce as a safety valve and everyone else shifted around like speedy chess pieces for Reid, no one is better at consistently coming through with both routine and unorthodox production when it matters most. Mahomes’ unmatched feel for the game, which he plays like another sport entirely, is the difference when comparing more balanced rosters in, say, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

JuJu Smith-Schuster wowed by Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ playmaking ability | Chiefs Wire

Smith-Schuster spoke with reporters after the game about taking incredible pride in being able to improvise with the former league MVP.

“Oh, yeah. Scramble, always improvising,” Said Smith-Schuster, “I think on at least three out of my nine catches today. I pretty much ran a route that I wasn’t supposed to run, and I just did it anyways.”

Another notable play from Mahomes took place in the first half on Sunday. Mahomes found a way to scramble and toss an unorthodox no-look pass underhanded to Jerick McKinnon for a second-quarter touchdown. Mahomes’ pass to McKinnon went for 56 yards and made quite the impression on Smith-Schuster.

“That was crazy. It was crazy, that was a crazy one. I haven’t seen that,” said Smith-Schuster. “I mean, I’ve seen him make a lot of stuff in practice, but I’ve not seen him make that underhand throw (like that), and he did it. It was like no look like he had a stiff arm and then (he) threw and then, touchdown!”

One thing we learned about each NFL team in Week 14: Dak Prescott’s major weakness, Ravens get strength back | CBS Sports

Kansas City Chiefs

The defense had a deceiving stat line: Kansas City’s defense had a good day looking at the box score. The Chiefs defense finished wiih six sacks, seven tackles for loss, seven passes defended and two interceptions — one which was returned for a touchdown. So what wa steh problem?

The Chiefs allowed 28 points to the Broncos of all teams, an offense that failed to score over 10 points in a game since October. Two Denver touchdowns were aided by a short field off Patrick Mahomes interceptions, yet Kansas City let Denver’s offense drive right down the field for easy scores.

Denver was also 6 of 17 on third down too, while finishing with just 320 yards and averaging 4.6 yards per play. The Chiefs defense did play well by looking at the statistics and teh turnovers forced, but the 28 points allowed is inexcusable.

NFL division title predictions: Bengals or Ravens in AFC North? Who takes moribund NFC South? | NFL.com

AFC West

You know the deal: The 10-3 Chiefs are going to win the division. There will be no banana in the tailpipe with the 7-6 Chargers, sorry. And you’re right: I have been stricken with Chargers Stockholm Syndrome in the past, and I won’t allow one win over the Dolphins to cause recurrence.

Kansas City carries the West, seemingly for the 39th year in a row. (OK, it’ll be K.C.’s seventh straight division crown.)

2023 NFL mock draft: Todd McShay’s early first-round predictions for 31 picks | ESPN

30. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)

Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

The Chiefs pieced together an effective pass-rush this season, but 17 of their 42 sacks have come on blitzes. Carlos Dunlap is under contract for only this season, and Chris Jones and Frank Clark are set to be free agents after next season. Kansas City drafted George Karlaftis in Round 1 in April, but it needs more. Verse overwhelms blockers with his speed and power and is disruptive in the backfield (14 tackles for loss). Alternatively, Kansas City has both starting offensive tackles unsigned after this season, and it could still use more receiving options, so either of those positions could warrant a look.

Around the NFL

Source: Handling of WR DeVante Parker’s injury to be reviewed | ESPN

The NFL Players Association has initiated an inquiry into why Monday night’s game wasn’t stopped when New England Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker showed concussion symptoms, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano on Tuesday.

Parker was wobbly getting up after a hit in the first half, and teammate Nelson Agholor had to signal to the officials to stop the game and remove Parker before the next play.

On Tuesday, Parker called out the NFL via his Instagram story, writing: “Get on yalls f---in jobs @NFL,” and thanked Agholor for being “aware of the situation.”

Cole Beasley Ends Retirement to Sign Bills Contract amid Odell Beckham Jr. Rumors | Bleacher Report

Buffalo announced Tuesday that it has signed Beasley to its practice squad, a move NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported was expected.

The 33-year-old spent three seasons in Buffalo from 2019 to 2021 before going unsigned in free agency this past offseason. Beasley signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in September and appeared in two games, but he announced his retirement in October.

Buffalo has been in the market for a veteran wideout, as it recently hosted free-agent Odell Beckham Jr. on a visit. OBJ visited with the Bills, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, and as noted by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, both the Bills and Cowboys have signed other receivers: The Bills inked Beasley, and the Cowboys brought in T.Y. Hilton.

It’s uncertain whether Beckham, who suffered a torn ACL in the Super Bowl last season, will play this year. Beckham himself created some doubt, saying last week that he doesn’t “see the point” of trying to play during the 2022 regular season.

In case you missed it on Arrowhead Pride

Film review: Why Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith are playing their best football right now

Creed Humphrey

Most centers who excel in zone blocking, such as Humphrey, struggle with man-blocking concepts such as counter because of their lack of weight. It’s difficult for a 290-pound center to seal a back-side nose tackle and keep him from going upfield because he lacks the mass to win that block.

The difference with Humphrey is that he’s big enough to seal that back-side block. In Kansas City’s Counter or Power runs, that’s critical. Having a center be able to seal that back side is imperative for those runs to work, and Humphrey’s proven to be exceptional at that. None of these runs are successful without his ability to do that.

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