KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- I don’t think the Kansas City Chiefs are going to replace Ron Parker as one of their starting cornerbacks in time for the Nov. 30 game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium.
But the Chiefs could have some options, if they are so inclined.
Jamell Fleming, who started a couple of games earlier in the season, could be ready to return after missing the past four games with a strained hamstring. If their regular nickel back, Chris Owens, is ready to return from the knee injury prevented him from playing in the past two games, the Chiefs could go with Phillip Gaines.
Then there’s Marcus Cooper, who began the season as a starter but more recently has been buried on the bench.
Other than in the recent game against the Buffalo Bills, Parker hasn’t resembled a shutdown corner. But he might be the best the Chiefs have to offer at cornerback, not counting Sean Smith, the other starter.
Fleming might be an acceptable option if he’s healthy. He played well enough in his brief trial as a starter. But he’s been out of the lineup for some time now, and might have to scrape off some rust.
Gaines is a rookie, and though he also has held up well, I’m not sure I’d be ready to trust him. Cooper was terrible early in the season, and the fact he hasn’t played on defense in recent weeks should tell you all you need to know about what the Chiefs think of him.
Parker showed his potential at cornerback against the Bills. The Chiefs could use a player of that caliber against Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Parker offers the Chiefs their best shot at that.