Damien Williams Out, Frank Clark Questionable for Chiefs vs. Patriots
The Chiefs won't have starting running back Damien Williams on Sunday against the New England Patriots, along with a pair of cornerbacks, but defensive end Frank Clark appears a game-time decision after sitting out practice this week.
Head coach Andy Reid ruled out Williams (rib) along with cornerbacks Morris Claiborne (shoulder) and Rashad Fenton (hamstring). The club listed safety Jordan Lucas (illness) questionable.
Clark also carries a questionable tag into Sunday's game. The defender participated in a limited role in Wednesday's practice due to a shoulder injury sustained last week against Oakland. An illness, however, knocked him out of practice on Thursday and Friday. Reid indicated Clark plains to travel with the club to New England, although he said the team took the precaution of quarantining both Clark and Lewis from their teammates.
Without Williams, the Chiefs expect to deploy a running back by committee with LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson along with new arrival Spencer Ware.
"They all practiced and took rotation in there," Reid said. "I can tell you we’re comfortable with any of them playing. We’ll just see how it goes once the game gets going.”
This is Ware's second stint with the Chiefs, and he brings with him plenty of knowledge and familiarity with the offense.
"He picked up right where he left off," Reid said. "It was just a matter of getting the legs going and getting back in the swing of things. But he looked good. He did a good job. You could tell he worked out and was in shape.”
The absence of Claiborne and Fenton shortens the team's depth at cornerback. Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland expect to start on the outside with Kendall Fuller in the nickel back role. The club promoted rookie Alex Brown from the practice squad to provide reinforcements, although Brown plays primarily on the outside.
"Alex is a smart kid," Reid said. "He works his tail off out here. He’s long for being relatively short and skinny. He’s long and you see that when he makes plays. He’s able to get himself into position, get his hands on the ball and he has a good feel for things.”
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (toe/right elbow) was limited in practice on Thursday, but was a full participant on Friday and carries no designation into Sunday's game. The Patriots list six players as questionable, including wide receivers Julian Edelman (shoulder) and Mohamed Sanu (ankle)
Chiefs Injury Report
OUT: RB Damien Williams, CB Morris Claiborne and CB Rashad Fenton
QUESTIONABLE: DE Frank Clark and S Jordan Lucas
Did not practice: DE Frank Clark (illness), RB Damien Williams (rib), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and S Jordan Lucas (illness)
Limited participation: None
Full participation: LT Eric Fisher (groin), CB Kendall Fuller (thumb), QB Patrick Mahomes (knee), DT Derrick Nnadi (elbow) and DE Alex Okafor (ankle)
Patriots Injury Report TBA
OUT: OL Byron Cowart and OL Ted Karras
QUESTIONABLE: OT Marcus Cannon, S Patrick Chung, WR Julian Edelman, CB Jason McCourty, WR Mohammed Sanu and LB Ja'Whaun Bentley
Did not practice: OL Byron Cowart (head) and OL Ted Karras (knee)
Limited participation: OT Marcus Cannon (illness), S Patrick Chung (heel), WR Julian Edelman (shoulder), CB Jason McCourty (groin), WR Mohammed Sanu (ankle) and LB Ja'Whaun Bentley (knee)
Full participation: QB Tom Brady (toe/right elbow) and QB Cody Kessler (illness)