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KC Chiefs DL Charles Omenihu Undergoes Successful ACL Surgery

Kansas City's standout pass rusher is officially on the road to recovery as he attempts to work his way back for next season.

Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Charles Omenihu didn't get to make an on-field impact in Super Bowl LVIII due to a torn ACL. Now, the five-year veteran is on the mend and hoping to rejoin the team at some point as it chases a three-peat.

Per a Tuesday night report from Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 in Houston, Omenihu underwent successful surgery to repair the ACL. Previous reports indicated that the previous Tuesday was a scheduled surgery date but nonetheless, Omenihu's procedure still comes less than a month after an injury suffered in the AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens. 

"#Chiefs defensive end Charles Omenihu underwent successful surgery today to repair torn anterior cruciate ligament with procedure performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and his medical team," Wilson wrote. "Full recovery expected for next season."

Late on Tuesday, Omenihu confirmed the positive outcome and accompanied his Instagram post with a brief message. 

"Surgery was a success," Omenihu wrote. "I appreciate all the well wishes and prayers. I’ve been through the dark before and God has always guided me to the light this will be no different. THE JOURNEY BEGINS. Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you' this is the Lord’s declaration 'plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

It's far too early to iron out an exact recovery track for Omenihu, although it's realistic to expect upwards of six months before ramping up in a serious way. That means, in all likelihood, the former fifth-round pick is a strong candidate to spend training camp, the preseason and perhaps the start of the regular season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Should Omenihu begin the 2024-25 campaign on PUP, he'd have to miss at least the first four weeks of the regular season before having a five-week window to start practicing. 

Potentially being without Omenihu for any amount of time would undoubtedly be a challenge for the Chiefs. In just 11 games this past season, he notched seven sacks and 29 pressures. He then played a combined 93 snaps in the first two rounds of the playoffs. With that said, Kansas City withstood not having Omenihu for the first six weeks of the regular season while he was suspended. A similar timeline next season would put him at just under eight months post-surgery. 

Omenihu, 26, signed a two-year deal with the Chiefs last offseason. With him on the shelf for the foreseeable future and Mike Danna hitting the open market, Kansas City is slated to rely on George Karlaftis and 2023 first-round pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah to shoulder a significant load at the defensive end position early next season. That, combined with the looming possibility of free agency for defensive tackle Chris Jones, leaves one of the NFL's better pass rushes in an interesting spot as February rolls on and the new league year approaches.