The recent one-game suspension of OLB Tamba Hali, along with injuries to Brandon Flowers and Kendrick Lewis in the secondary, have the Chiefs shuffling to try to figure out how to replace all three for the opener on Sept. 9. Flowers could return, but if he does, how many plays will he be in?
Coach Romeo Crennel has some decisions to make as to how much depth he needs to keep at those positions. Another possibility to consider is Crennel bringing back defensive lineman Shaun Smith, a fan favorite in Kansas City who was recently released by the Titans.
- Jerrell Powe (NT, 2nd year, sixth-round draft pick in 2011) -- Powe has elevated his status with a strong training camp and preseason. He had a sack in the preseason opener against Arizona and has challenged first-round pick Dontari Poe for the backup spot at nose tackle. So why would he be on the bubble? Crennel did not rule out this week that he would consider bringing Smith back -- "Shaun is my man," he told the Kansas City Star. Smith started 10 games for the Chiefs in 2010 and was a good fit in Crennel's 3-4 defense. He also got KC fans excited when he tweeted this week that he was craving some Kansas City BBQ, and if the Chiefs called, he would likely answer.
I want some jack stack rt now— shaun smith (@autumnsjs90) August 23, 2012
- Edgar Jones (OLB, 6th year, spent first five seasons with Baltimore) -- The Chiefs signed Jones on July 30 to give them some depth at outside linebacker. Now that Hali will miss the opener, Jones has a decent shot at making the roster; however, he is not considered one of the top two options to replace Hali -- that would be Andy Studebaker and Cameron Sheffield.
- Steve Maneri (TE, 2nd year, converted left tackle) -- Maneri played in six games for the Chiefs last season as a left tackle. In February, Kansas City asked Maneri to move to tight end, where he played at Temple. Maneri looked great in the preseason opener, catching three passes for 69 yards. Was it a one-time fluke? Currently, he sits behind Jake O'Connel for the third tight end spot. His size and blocking ability could earn him a spot. It might take another strong performance on Friday against Seattle to make that happen.