KANSAS CITY, Mo. – After starting eight offensive line combinations last year because of injuries and coaching decisions -- and struggling at times because of it -- the Kansas City Chiefs this year decided stability would be best. They identified a starting five during offseason practice and then stayed with that group through training camp, the preseason and the first regular-season game.
That stability apparently will last no longer. The Chiefs might have to make changes at both guard spots for Sunday’s game against the Texans in Houston.
Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has a high ankle sprain -- it happened on the final play of last Sunday’s victory over the San Diego Chargers -- and did not practice. Left guard Parker Ehinger, a rookie, suffered a concussion in practice on Wednesday.
Headed into their second game of the season, the Chiefs are back where they were last season in regard to shuffling personnel on their offensive line.
This wouldn’t have to mean disaster for the Chiefs. The probable replacements, Zach Fulton and Jah Reid, played plenty for the Chiefs last year. Fulton started six games, plus both playoff games. Reid started 10 plus one, though only one of those starts was at guard.
Still, this isn’t how the Chiefs wanted to go through their season. They planned on some mishaps along the way but not two so early. The line played well against the Chargers after a slow start in protecting quarterback Alex Smith.
The Chiefs would also need to add some backup help. Practice-squad members Jordan Devey and Jarrod Pughsley went to camp with the Chiefs and played for them in the preseason.