A three-game skid – preseason or not – is bad enough, but the worse news could come yet again on the injury front.
Despite starters seeing limited action, Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson apparently suffered an ankle injury that “could be significant,” Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star reports on Twitter.
Coach Romeo Crennel said during his postgame presser that Johnson suffered a twisted ankle, but added there was “nothing major” he heard of, as also reported by Teicher.
In the meantime, the current defensive injuries should be a primary concern for a team that couldn’t avoid the injury bug in 2011.
The Chiefs played Thursday night’s final preseason game without starting defensive tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle), cornerback Brandon Flowers (heel) and free safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder).
Flowers’ primary backup, Jalil Brown, also didn’t play due to a groin injury.
Further compounding potential concerns, the Chiefs will start the regular season without Pro Bowl defensive end Tamba Hali, who is suspended for the first game of the year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
The good news for the Chiefs is there are 10 days before the team takes the field on Sept. 9, giving the injured defenders time to heal.
The bad news is the Falcons are sure to take advantage of a wounded defense if Johnson, Flowers, Toribio, Lewis and Brown aren’t ready for the start of the season.
Of note, Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star tweets Johnson could be doubtful for the season opener.
The Eachus legend grows
The Chiefs amassed 247 yards rushing against the Packers and undrafted rookie free agent running back Nate Eachus led the team for a second straight with 99 yards rushing on 21 carries.
Eachus impressed in Week Three preseason action against the Seattle Seahawks by rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
The rookie out of Colgate is clearly making a strong push to make the team’s final roster.
Also chipping in against the Packers were running backs Shaun Draughn, who rushed for 51 yards on eight carries, Peyton Hillis, who rushed for 46 yards on six carries, and Jamaal Charles, who added 12 yards rushing on three carries.
Is it Stanzi time already?
Backup quarterback Brady Quinn completed 6-of-12 passes for 83 yards and an interception. He added 29 yards rushing on two attempts and was sacked once.
However, Quinn apparently was also hurt against the Packers, according to Adam Teicher of The Kansas City Star.
“Quinn jammed his neck,” Crennel said in his postgame presser. “He had neck spasms after he tried to be a running back.”
The Chiefs named Quinn the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Matt Cassel earlier this week. If Quinn is out, Ricky Stanzi becomes Cassel’s primary backup in Week One unless the Chiefs sign another quarterback.
Notes: The Chiefs have until Friday at 9 p.m. ET to cut the current roster from 75 players to “The Right 53” … The Chiefs can establish the eight-man practice squad on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 12 p.m. ET … Fourth string quarterback Alex Tanney saw his first action of the preseason, but left with a finger injury and is in danger of not making the final roster cuts … A sign of improvement and what’s to come? The Chiefs finished the four-game preseason with 12 sacks after totaling 29 sacks during the entire 2011 regular season.