Covering for possible loss of Jeff Allen wouldn't be easy for Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping for good news with regard to three offensive players who were injured early in Saturday night’s 34-19 preseason win over the Arizona Cardinals. Right tackle Jeff Allen sprained his MCL, running back Knile Davis sprained his knee and slot receiver/punt returner De'Anthony Thomas injured his calf.

“I don’t think they’ll be back in the next couple days, but we’ll see," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

The Chiefs plugged Donald Stephenson in at right tackle, but replacing Allen for the longer term wouldn’t be so simple. Allen is one of the Chiefs' best and most experienced offensive linemen. He’s also versatile enough to play guard and, in a pinch, center. The Chiefs are thin at tackle after Allen, Stephenson and Eric Fisher, and if Allen is out for a long period they might be looking for help at the position.

Davis yielded some of his snaps to Charcandrick West. A young running back who was already having a strong camp, West was one of many Chiefs offensive stars against Arizona and was singled out by Reid afterward. He led the Chiefs in rushing with 49 yards on six carries and also caught three passes for 43 yards.

When Jamaal Charles is out of the game, the Chiefs might be better off using West in passing situations rather than Davis. West is more effective as a receiver than Davis, though West still has to prove he can be an effective pass-blocker.

The Chiefs have some young receivers who could replace Thomas, but none is capable of giving them what he does. Thomas is world-class fast, and defenses always have to account for him because of that.

Veteran Jason Avant would get more work as the slot receiver if Thomas is out for a lengthy period. The Chiefs could also give Frankie Hammond Jr. or Fred Williams a look in the slot.