Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid told reporters Wednesday that injured linebacker Tamba Hali joined his teammates and participated in the morning walkthrough, but sat out practice later in the day. Reid called Hali’s participation a “big step” in returning from his ankle injury. When asked about the likelihood of Hali suiting up for Sunday’s rematch with the Denver Broncos, Reid simply said that there was a good chance he would.
The news wasn’t so great about Hali’s pass-rushing partner Justin Houston, who was unable to get an MRI done on his dislocated elbow until Wednesday afternoon because of excessive swelling. Just that fact alone would seem to indicate that Houston’s chance of playing this weekend to be somewhere between slim and none.
Of course, if you listen to or read the media outside of Kansas City, the Broncos should roll the Chiefs by 50 to 75 points on Sunday because of the potential absence of Kansas City’s talented linebacking duo. One reason is because the Chiefs are a fraud and second, because Peyton Manning is a football god among mere mortals and will smite the infidels from KC with a plague of locusts, toads, rivers of blood, and 7-yard crossing patterns to his wide receivers.
Skeptics of the Chiefs point to last Sunday’s game against San Diego when the Chiefs had only given up a field goal to the Chargers until the two men left the game. Beginning with two minutes left in the first half, the Chiefs defense easily played its worst half of the season. Chargers QB Philip Rivers was almost perfect in leading San Diego to a 41-38 upset win. The winning touchdown pass came with 26 seconds left in the game with the Chiefs losing their grip on a 38-34 lead.
The Broncos gagged away a 24-0 halftime lead in New England and lost 34-31 in overtime. Of course, because it’s Denver, no one is pointing out all the flaws and injuries for their team and the fact that Manning had his worst game in years. Or that Denver currently has the 26th-ranked scoring defense in the league, while the Chiefs – even after losses in the last two weeks – still rank #2.
If it’s all the same to the critics and skeptics, Chiefs fans will still show up Sunday afternoon and cheer for their team to pull off the David-vs-Goliath-like upset and seize control of the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs.
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