Posted November 24, 2013

Chiefs lose Tamba Hali (ankle), Justin Houston (elbow) to injuries

AFC West, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers
Injuries Justin Houston (left) and Tamba Hali could prove critical with a game against the Broncos on deck.

Injuries to Justin Houston (left) and Tamba Hali could prove critical with a game against the Broncos on deck. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Two key members of the Chiefs’ top-ranked defense left Sunday’s game with injuries. Outside linebacker Tamba Hali had to be carted off after hurting his ankle in the second quarter, then Justin Houston injured his elbow while fending off  a block from Antonio Gates. Kansas City already found itself down defensive tackle Mike DeVito, who dropped with a knee injury in the team’s last game.

Both players were listed as questionable to return. Dezman Moses and Frank Zombo replaced Houston and Hali, respectively.

The injured OLBs entered Week 12 with a combined 20 sacks on the year — 11 from Houston and nine from Hali. Those numbers account for more than half of the Chiefs’ 36 sacks on the year.

Kansas City’s D mostly has avoided major injury this season, so the setbacks Sunday represent potentially critical hurdles. The Chiefs did manage to thrive without injured cornerback Brandon Flowers early in 2013, but losing Hali and Houston at the same time might prove even more difficult to overcome.

The Chiefs are coming off their first loss of the season, 27-17 to Denver, and after Sunday’s game against the Chargers, they take on the Broncos again. In other words, this is about the worst possible time for injuries to mount on the defense.

The effects of those missing guys was felt almost instantly against San Diego, too. Philip Rivers closed the first half by tossing a TD to Danny Woodhead, then the Chargers scored again early in the second half to grab a 17-14 lead after trailing 14-3.

Houston has not missed a game in his three NFL seasons; Hali has sat out just two contests since entering the league in 2006.

6 comments
JubJub
JubJub

Speaking even as a Broncos fan, it's too bad these two gentlemen are hurt.  They play a fierce game, and I never want to see anyone get injured.  

Regardless of the injuries, is anyone really surprised by the outcome of the games the past two weeks? Anyone with even a mild understanding of football could see that the Chiefs were a fraud.  Yes, they're having a nice season, but their record has been inflated by playing a series of bad teams with third-string quarterbacks.  When they faced real QB's like Manning and (kind of) Rivers, they collapsed.  The Chiefs are having a nice season, but they and Alex Dilfer are not a threat in the playoffs.

CobyPreimesberger
CobyPreimesberger

if these guys are lost, it could open the door for the chargers and the chiefs even with these 2 last week got no pass rush forget it

RiversDee
RiversDee

@JubJub Your donkeys blew a 24 point lead...NOW that is a fraud!!! LMBO

doghockey
doghockey

@JubJub Frauds don't win nine consecutive games in the NFL.   If they had lost a game in September and lost today you guys would not be so worked up, but since the losses are consecutive after a long win streak, the overreaction was inevitable.

scoutxx
scoutxx

@JubJub I think this was obvious to everyone outside of KC. The Chiefs are exactly who we thought they were. Good for them for bouncing back from a 2-14 season last year, but they're obviously not quite ready to play with the big boys.