KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs will be without linebacker Justin Houston and three other regulars for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers, but they have one bit of positive news on their final injury report of the week.
They listed rookie center Mitch Morse, who missed last week’s game against the Raiders because of a concussion, as probable for Sunday. Look for Morse to reclaim the starting spot he held for the season’s first 11 games.
Morse’s return also gives the Chiefs a little flexibility for their offensive line. The Chiefs can now go with Zach Fulton, who replaced Morse at center, at left guard if Jeff Allen can’t play. Allen is listed on the injury report as being questionable for Sunday’s game.
The Chiefs had to replace Allen last week with tackle Donald Stephenson, who had never played guard in an NFL game.
If Allen doesn’t start, the Chiefs will open Sunday’s game with their seventh different line combination of the season.
Houston, who hyperextended his knee two weeks ago against the Bills, also sat out last week’s game. He will be replaced again by former first-round draft pick Dee Ford, who mostly had an unproductive game against the Raiders in his first NFL start, but did have a hit on quarterback Derek Carr that led to a key fourth-quarter interception.
The Chiefs will also play without safety Husain Abdullah, slot receiver/kick returner De'Anthony Thomas and defensive end Mike DeVito. Each has a concussion. Abdullah’s snaps as an extra safety on passing downs were taken against Oakland by Tyvon Branch, who returned an interception late in the game for the Chiefs’ final touchdown.
Thomas hasn’t played since suffering the concussion against the Chargers on Nov. 22. The Chiefs went with Knile Davis as their kickoff returner and Frankie Hammond Jr. to return punts against the Raiders.
The Chiefs will get defensive lineman Allen Bailey back in their lineup as well. Bailey hasn’t played since a Nov. 1 game against the Lions because of a calf injury.