Chiefs lose Alex Smith, Ware to concussions
The Kansas City Chiefs left Indianapolis with a decisive victory.
They also carried some concerns about the health of the core of their offense.
Quarterback Alex Smith was twice forced out of the game by hits to the head, leaving for good early in the third quarter with a concussion. Running back Spencer Ware was also concussed during the 30-14 victory over the Colts on Sunday, an injury that kept him out for the whole second half and forced Charcandrick West into duty as the featured runner. Left guard Parker Ehinger also left the game in the third quarter with a sprained right knee.
''It isn't tiddlywinks,'' Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ''It's a pretty violent game, so guys get hurt.''
Running back Jamaal Charles, whose recovery from ACL reconstruction last season on his right knee has been slow, stayed home with swelling and was scheduled to see a doctor on Monday.
The status of Smith, who was capably replaced by Nick Foles, naturally drew the most scrutiny after the 12th-year quarterback took several shots to the head the week before against New Orleans.
Smith left the first series of the game a little woozy after being hit during a slide by Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, but he cleared the concussion protocol after doctors determined a cut to the ear left him disoriented.
Smith then had his head shoved to the turf with both hands by Colts safety Clayton Geathers on another slide in the third quarter. No penalty was called.
The Colts didn't go unscathed. Pro Bowl cornerback Vontae Davis and right tackle Joe Reitz both left the game with concussions and did not return.
In Buffalo, the NFL's sack leader Lorenzo Alexander hurt his hamstring during a punt return early in the second quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the loss to New England.
The journeyman linebacker, who also plays on special teams, has nine sacks this season to match his total of the first nine years of his career.
The wild tie game at Wembley Stadium in London included several injuries, too, with Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Cincinnati safety George Iloka in the third quarter. The team said Jackson didn't have a concussion, but rather a ''head contusion.''
The Redskins also lost right tackle Morgan Moses (ankle) and strong safety Duke Ihenacho (concussion) in the game.
Tampa Bay lost in overtime to Oakland and lost another running back, too, when Jacquizz Rodgers left in the fourth quarter with a foot injury. All-Pro Doug Martin has been out with a hamstring injury since getting hurt in the second game of the season.
The NFC championship game rematch won by Carolina over Arizona featured the departure of two stars. Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu left in the first half with a shoulder injury, and Panthers center Ryan Kalil also hurt his shoulder.
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