Chargers not sleeping on Chase Daniel

SAN DIEGO -- With the news that Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith will miss Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers due to a lacerated spleen, San Diego players are not taking backup quarterback Chase Daniel lightly.

And the Chargers have every reason to respect the sixth-year pro out of Missouri. All San Diego defensive players have to do is put on the tape from last year’s regular-season finale, when Daniel almost led a group of Kansas City reserves to a surprising win over the Chargers, with Kansas City losing in overtime, 27-24.

Daniel completed 21 of 30 passes for 200 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. Daniel also ran for another 59 yards.

San Diego cornerback Brandon Flowers is very familiar with Daniel, having faced him in practice every day while in Kansas City. He was one of the Kansas City veterans resting on the sideline watching Daniel slice up San Diego’s defense last year.

“Chase is definitely capable,” Flower said. “We’ve got to go in ready to play. I know him. He’s a fiery guy. He can make all of the plays. And this is his moment. He feels like this is his moment, so we’ve got to be well prepared.”

Added Manti Te'o: “The offense doesn’t slow down at all with him at the helm. It’s basically the same thing, just a different number.”

One thing the Chargers will have to be a little more aware of is the zone-read option. While Smith is a mobile quarterback who can run, Daniel might be even more cable of making explosive plays outside the pocket with his feet.

“I think they are still going to do what they do,” Dwight Freeney said. “They’ll probably run the option a little bit more, because that’s his background. But outside of that, they are who they are. And I think that team goes through Jamaal Charles."