Chiefs missing starters Fenton, Niang for game vs Broncos
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Chiefs will be without starting cornerback Rashad Fenton and right tackle Lucas Niang for Sunday night’s game against the Broncos, raising the possibility that former All-Pro lineman Kyle Long could play for the first time in two years.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Friday that Fenton, the NFL’s top-rated cornerback according to some grading services, would miss the game with the knee he strained two weeks ago against Dallas. Niang has been dealing with a rib injury.
The Chiefs already are missing right tackle Mike Remmers, who is on injured reserve with a right knee injury, which has forced third-stringer Andrew Wylie into the lineup. He’s expected to get the start against Denver, but there’s a chance Long gets on the field for the first time since playing for the Bears against the Raiders on Oct. 6, 2019.
Long spent last season in retirement after a series of injuries during his time in Chicago, but he signed with Kansas City this spring and was expected to compete for a starting job. He promptly fractured a bone in his knee during a June workout, and he spent all but the last three weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list.
The Chiefs added him to the active roster for the first time Tuesday, giving him a chance to play against the Broncos.
“We’ll see how all that goes. I can just tell you he’s getting better and feeling better and we’ll just see how things go,” Reid said. “He’s been practicing every day here and working in there. He’s doing a nice job.”
Long has spent most of his seven-year NFL career at right guard, but the Bears moved him to right tackle — where the Chiefs could potentially use him — for the 2015 season, and Long was voted to his third consecutive Pro Bowl.
“I’ll do whatever they want me to do,” Long said after Friday’s practice. “Obviously we’ve got a bunch of guys that can play a bunch of different spots. We’ve seen that. I’m here to help. That’s why I’m in red, and I’m happy to do it.”
Fenton missed the entire week of practice, making it unlikely he would be available against the Broncos. Charvarius Ward is expected to take his place opposite L’Jarius Sneed in the defensive backfield.
The Chiefs had won four straight games heading into last week’s bye, which propelled them back atop the AFC West. But the Broncos have also won three of their last four and, like the Raiders and Chargers, are only a game back in the division race.
“We’re coming around and we’re just starting to feel each other,” Chiefs defensive end Frank Clark said. “It’s a feel, kind of a buzz you get, and you start to — myself being here three years and being in the league seven years now — you kind of start feeling it when your team’s got that buzz, and you all start to feel that confidence, swagger. I feel like we’re kind of starting to feel that and getting in that phase right now, and like I said, just having fun.”
NOTES: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire missed Friday’s workout with the stomach flu but should be available Sunday. ... Chiefs P Tommy Townsend was voted the AFC special teams player of the week. “I saw it when I was on my way into the building, my oldest brother sent me a screenshot of it to the family group text,” Townsend said. “That’s obviously one of the top awards you can get during the season. It’s such an incredible feeling to see all my hard work pay off.”
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