KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Chiefs are practicing without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and five other key players or regulars as they begin preparations for Saturday’s divisional round playoff game against the Patriots in New England.
The others who will be absent from practice: top pass rushers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, running back Spencer Ware and starting offensive linemen Mitch Morse and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
Maclin has a high-ankle sprain, but coach Andy Reid said he had a chance to play against the Patriots. Asked whether Maclin could go the entire week without practicing but still play in New England, Reid said, “He could do that. He might not have to do that, but he could do that.’’
The Chiefs initially feared a torn right ACL for Maclin when he was injured during Saturday’s win over the Houston Texans. Maclin has torn his right ACL twice earlier in his career.
But results of an MRI showed no ACL tear.
“I was happy for the kid,’’ Reid said. “That’s a tough deal. I’ve got to tell you, it looked the part [of a torn ACL]. He’s been through a couple of these before so he thought that’s what it was and it looked that way on the [initial test].
“But it all worked out. As we made our way back [from Houston], he didn’t have any swelling in it. The [doctors] and Jeremy were ‘Whoa, maybe this is a little something different.’ His pain started going more down to the ankle. Positive thing.’’
Houston played against the Texans with a bulky brace on his knee. It was his first game in more than a month after injuring the knee. Hali has a broken thumb and a balky knee, and the Chiefs have taken to holding him from practice when they work on the artificial turf of their indoor facility, as they’re doing Tuesday.
Reid said holding Houston and Hali from practice was mostly cautionary.
Ware has a sprained ankle, but Reid was confident he would be available to play in New England. Morse and Duvernay-Tardif each has a concussion and have yet to pass through the NFL’s protocol.