Chiefs DT Khalen Saunders to Miss 'About a Month' with Dislocated Elbow
Kansas City Chiefs second-year defensive tackle Khalen Saunders is expected to miss "about a month" with a dislocated elbow suffered in the team's season-opening win over the Houston Texans.
The month-long timeline was reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network on Wednesday and aligns with what head coach Andy Reid indicated following Thursday's game.
"Saunders dislocated his elbow, but it looks like it’s clean," Reid said on Thursday night. "There doesn’t look like there’s any damage in there other than the dislocation, which isn’t great, but it’s better than the alternative."
The impact of Saunders' absence is increased by the suspension of fellow defensive tackle Mike Pennel, who will miss one more game before returning in time for Week 3 when the Chiefs take on the Baltimore Ravens.
Saunders and Pennel were mainly slotted in as the immediate backups to star defensive tackle Chris Jones and fellow starting DT Derrick Nnadi. Saunders was injured on just his eighth snap of the season. Even with Saunders exiting early, Nnadi played just 16 snaps on Thursday. Jones led the defensive tackles in snaps, recording 52. Saunders will not practice on Wednesday, according to Reid.
Reid said Saunders was "feeling pretty good" on Wednesday, but that the team would wait and see how he progresses before making any moves regarding his status. The Chiefs could potentially place Saunders on the injured reserve, which would only keep him out for a minimum of three weeks, a new rule for 2020.