Injury Impact: Chiefs hope for quick return of pass rushers
Here's the latest on the NFL's most prominent injuries.
Tamba Hali, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs (ankle) and Justin Houston, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs (elbow): The Chiefs lost both of their primary pass-rushers in their 41-38 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, and according to head coach Andy Reid on Monday, the news was good for one of them.
"Tamba Hali has an ankle sprain, did have an MRI on it and that’s what it is, a slight ankle sprain. He’ll continue to work this week. He was moving around a little better today than he was after the game yesterday. Justin Houston subluxed his elbow, and we weren’t able to do the MRI because he has quite a bit of swelling there and they weren’t able to get him into the position that they wanted to, to do the MRI. We’ll wait a day or so to get the swelling down and then go from there."
Reid made sure to specify that Hali's injury was not a high ankle sprain, which would generally be more serious. Neither Houston nor Hali has any sacks in Kansas City's last three games, despite the fact that they each played all possible defensive snaps (82) against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9 and the Denver Broncos in Week 11. The Chiefs have lost two straight after a 9-0 start, and they have the Broncos on Sunday for the second time in three weeks.
Darrelle Revis, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (groin): Revis left Sunday's game against the Lions in the first half with a groin injury, which meant that he missed most of the hyped matchup between himself and Calvin Johnson. Greg Schiano said Monday that he's waiting to get a read on the severity of the injury.
"It was severe enough that he – I know he wanted to play in that game, desperately. That was a great matchup. The first half felt like two championship fighters just feeling each other out a little bit – mostly jabs. It was going to be an interesting second half. The flipside to that is I’m really proud of [cornerback] Johnthan Banks [who replaced Revis]. We weren’t sure how we were going to do it. Were we going to totally go away from the plan? Were we going to adjust the plan? We ended up adjusting it a little bit, but Johnthan stepped into Darrelle’s role – and against one of the greatest players to ever play that position – and really did a good job.”
Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver Broncos (lower leg): Moreno rushed for 224 yards and a touchdown on 37 carries in Denver's overtime loss to the Patriots, and he limped off the field late in the game. He was seen in a walking boot and wearing crutches after the game, and on Monday, interim head coach Jack Del Rio updated Moreno's status, saying that his primary back has a bruised ankle and could return to the practice field late in the week.
Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos (knee): Thomas didn't play in the Patriots game, but Del Rio said to expect him on Sunday against the Chiefs. “I would anticipate we will get Julius back," he said, adding that cornerback Champ Bailey could also be ready to go. "At the end of the day, we felt it was in their best interest and our best interest that we wait one more week with both of them so they had to miss yesterday but they should be full-go this week.” Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers (collarbone): There was some hope that Rodgers might be ready to return in Green Bay's Thanksgiving Day game against the Detroit Lions, but head coach Mike McCarthy put the kibosh on that concept during his Monday presser, saying that the chances were "slim to none." That means that Matt Flynn will likely start against Detroit, with Scott Tolzien as the backup. The 5-5-1 Packers are 0-3-1 since Nov. 4, when Rodgers broke his left collarbone against the Chicago Bears.