The Kansas City Chiefs have a pivotal Sunday Night Football outing against the Los Angeles Chargers coming up, and both teams' injury situations have been popular subjects of discussion throughout the week.
On Los Angeles' side, there's been a mixed bag of news in regard to who is getting healthier and whose season is over. Head coach Brandon Staley is trotting out a relatively depleted defensive line, but wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen are inching closer to getting back out on the field. For the Chargers' purposes, the hope is that the team can avoid any additional injuries as it makes a push for the playoffs. This is a clear must-win game for the home team.
For the Chiefs, last Sunday's triumph over the Jacksonville Jaguars came with some players exiting early due to injuries. Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and cornerback Chris Lammons suffered concussions, and right tackle Andrew Wylie missed a large chunk of time with an elbow ailment. Wideout Mecole Hardman, who didn't practice during the week leading up to the game, was inactive and will remain inactive for at least four more games while he's on the injured reserve list.
Both Valdes-Scantling and Smith-Schuster missed practice to begin the week, with the latter remaining absent for the entirety of the week. Valdes-Scantling's return on Thursday and Wylie feeling good according to head coach Andy Reid opened the door for the possibility of some good news as the end of the week drew near. On Friday, Reid took the podium to provide some updates on his injured players.
Smith-Schuster being out for Week 11 is no surprise, as Kansas City's No. 1 wide receiver has yet to clear concussion protocol and took a massive hit from Jaguars safety Andre Cisco just a handful of days ago. Without him and Hardman in the fold, the Chiefs will be relying on players such as Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney and perhaps one or both of Justin Watson and Skyy Moore to step up and make plays for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The wide receiver depth for the Chiefs is going to be tested, but the group performed admirably down the stretch against Jacksonville.
Elsewhere, Lammons being out is more of a blow to Dave Toub's special teams unit than it is to Steve Spagnuolo's defense. With that said, Lammons is one of the best special-teamers on the Chiefs and that loss is still significant. Reid did add that defensive end Frank Clark, who practiced all week, is set to make his return from a two-game suspension he served. Much like the aforementioned Chargers did, Reid had good and bad news to share as both sides prepare for a huge AFC West showdown.