The Kansas City Chiefs have suffered another loss at cornerback, as rookie corner L'Jarius Sneed reportedly broke his collarbone during the Chiefs' Monday Night Football matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, according to Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star and Nate Taylor of The Athletic.
Sneed, a 2020 fourth-round pick, had been starting for the Chiefs at corner through the first three games of the season and is tied for the league lead in interceptions, recording one in each of the first two weeks of the season. (Sneed is tied with Donte Jackson of the Carolina Panthers and Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie, both of the Indianapolis Colts, who all have two picks on the year.)
Beyond his interception numbers, Sneed has been a bright spot on the Chiefs' defense, performing admirably against the likes of Will Fuller and Keenan Allen. Now, he'll likely miss at least a quarter of the season, and potentially anywhere in the range of 4-8 weeks. This is speculative based on the typical collarbone or clavicle healing time and is not specific to Sneed's injury, so a better best-case scenario could still exist, pending more information from the Chiefs.
Sneed seems likely to be headed to the injured reserve list, as in 2020, players who head to the IR only have to miss a minimum of three weeks, and an unlimited number of players can be reactivated from the list over the course of the season.
Cornerback has been a snakebitten position for the Chiefs in 2020, starting with Bashaud Breeland's four-game suspension, which he will return from after the Chiefs play the New England Patriots on Sunday. Then, top corner Charvarius Ward suffered a fractured hand in the team's season-opening game against the Houston Texans. Ward returned to the active roster Monday night against the Ravens, but didn't take the field until after Sneed left with the apparent collarbone injury, a clear sign that the Chiefs would have preferred to leave Ward as a backup plan as he continued to mend.
Now, with Breeland still one more game away, the Chiefs will almost certainly head into Sunday's matchup with the Patriots starting Ward and second-year corner Rashad Fenton on the outside, with Antonio Hamilton predominantly in the slot. Rookie seventh-round pick BoPete Keyes was active in Week 2 when Ward was not, but did not play a defensive snap and returned to the inactive list in Week 3.
Update: The Chiefs have confirmed the injury.
Update 2: Sneed has been placed on injured reserve, keeping him out for at least the next three games.