News and Analysis: Kansas City Chiefs Injury Report vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Kansas City Chiefs have released their injury designations for a handful of players as the team prepares to play the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Here's the news and what it all means for KC's biggest matchup of the young season.
Wide receiver Sammy Watkins, cornerback Charvarius Ward and linebacker Dorian O'Daniel are all questionable for Monday's game. Defensive end Alex Okafor is out.
Watkins, who suffered a head/neck injury against the Los Angeles Chargers and went into concussion protocol, did not practice on Thursday, practiced in a limited capacity on Friday, and was a full participant on Saturday.
Ward suffered a fractured hand in the Chiefs' Week 1 matchup with the Houston Texans and missed Kansas City's game against the Chargers. Ward was limited in practice all week.
O'Daniel wasn't discussed as suffering an in-game injury on Sunday and had no practice designation on Thursday, but did not practice Friday due to a knee/ankle injury. He was a full participant on Saturday.
Safety Juan Thornhill, center Austin Reiter, defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, cornerback Antonio Hamilton, defensive end Frankl Clark and running back Darrel Williams were all full participants in practice all week and do not have injury designations heading into Week 3 and should be good to go.
Ward is the top name to watch, in my estimation. With fellow starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland still out with a four-game suspension, the Chiefs' secondary stands on shaky ground without Ward at corner. Even with two strong games from rookie fourth-round pick L'Jarius Sneed, second-year defensive back Rashad Fenton has been most successful in the slot, as has Antonio Hamilton, the new Chief who has spent time all over the defensive backfield.
Without ever being a full participant in practice, Ward's status seems truly up in the air for Monday.
As for Watkins, the Chiefs' offense is simply better when he's on the field. Adam Teicher of ESPN tweeted some stats to that end:
Even without Watkins, there are still plenty of weapons for the Chiefs' offense to produce at a high level, but Watkins demands attention when he's active, and as a full participant on Saturday, it seems likely that he'll play on Monday night.
O'Daniel has struggled to get on the field as much more than a high-level special teamer for the Chiefs, but his limited work, especially in the first two weeks of 2020, has appeared to be as a sort of quarterback-spy, especially against Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. If there's a game on the schedule that the Chiefs would surely want to have O'Daniel fully healthy and available, it would be against Lamar Jackson.
O'Daniel's athleticism gives him as good of a chance as any linebacker on the team to keep up with Jackson's running ability, either in designed runs or out of a broken passing play. Not much has been reported about O'Daniel's injury, but his full participance in Saturday's practice is a great sign.