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Arrowhead Report: Flowers Encouraged Following Injury

Posted Sep 28, 2011

CB Brandon Flowers tests injured ankle, finding a win in Week Four and Chiefs first-ballot HOF nominees

Early indications are positive regarding injured CB Brandon Flowers.

Flowers was on the practice field Wednesday afternoon, running through individual drills in the portion of practice open to the media. Some movements didn’t appear to be 100%, but Flowers’ participation following Sunday’s ankle injury was encouraging.

“I feel good,” Flowers said. “I went out there and practiced today, moved around a little bit and it felt a lot better than I thought it would. That’s a real positive sign. Going into tomorrow’s practice I’m going to push it even more.”

It will be up to trainers and coaches whether or not Flowers is healthy enough to play vs. Minnesota on Sunday. He was officially listed as a limited practice participant on the Chiefs injury report.

“I think I’ll be able to play up to my ability,” Flowers said. “Once I get on the field I don’t think about any kind of injury. It didn’t bother me too much today, but I was also trying to stay light.”

Jon McGraw, who exited Sunday’s game with a shin injury, practiced in a limited capacity as well. First round pick Jonathan Baldwin continues to recover from a preseason thumb injury.

Chiefs Injury Report

S Jon McGraw – Limited Participation (Shin)

CB Brandon Flowers – Limited Participation (Ankle)

WR Jonathan Baldwin – Limited Participation (Thumb)

DE Brandon Bair – Did Not Participate in Practice (Illness)

Minnesota listed seven players on its initial injury report, including All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson.

Vikings Injury Report

LB E.J. Henderson – Did Not Participate in Practice (Knee)

RB Adrian Peterson – Did Not Participate in Practice (Calf)

S Tyrell Johnson – Limited Participant (Hip)

TE Jim Kleinsasser - Limited Participant (Elbow)

CB Asher Allen - Full Participant (Toe)

CB Chris Cook - Full Participant (Groin)

DT Kevin Williams - Full Participant (Foot)

0-4 Vs. 1-3

With a pair of winless teams squaring off at Arrowhead Stadium this weekend, “must-win” chatter is beginning to surround both the Chiefs and Vikings. Although both head coaches understand the impact of beginning the first quarter of a season without a win, neither wanted to label Sunday’s game as a “must.”

“This isn’t necessarily a must-win, but we need a win,” Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said. “We need a win in the worst way.”

“I think it’s just very important for our guys to understand that you can’t dig too deep of a hole,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley.

Minnesota and Kansas City have traveled different paths to arrive winless in Week Four.

The Chiefs were careless with the football over the first two weeks of the season before turning in a much better effort last weekend in San Diego. The Vikings have committed fewer turnovers than any NFL team, but have experienced second half meltdowns in each game they’ve played.

Minnesota has outscored opponents 54-7 in the first half this season - the second-largest first half scoring differential of any NFL team outside Houston (53). However, in the second half, Minnesota is being outscored a league-worst 64-6.

“You have to keep reminding (the players) of some of the positives that have occurred and point out the areas that have held us back,” Frazier said. “You have to be frank and honest about those and I think if you stay the course and are honest in what you’re looking at, then you have a chance to turn things around.”

Statistically, the Vikings don’t resemble a winless team. They run the football well (5.8 yards per carry), protect the football (two turnovers) and get after the quarterback (9.0 sacks). Minnesota’s second-half issues are highlighted by dismal third-down play and a rash of untimely penalties.

“We’ve proven that we can be our own worst enemy,” Frazier said.

“As the time goes on, if you’re not careful, (losing) will become a mental thing. “You start expecting something negative to happen and we don’t’ want that to occur. We’re fighting that and you have to be so mentally tough to keep that from occurring. This will be a good week for us to get over that hump.”

Tight End Merry-Go-Round

The Chiefs tight end situation has been in continual motion since Tony Moeaki landed on injured reserve one month ago. Jake O’Connell and Anthony Becht continued that ongoing roster rotation Wednesday morning.

Becht was released prior to practice, and O’Connell re-signed. It was just 12 days ago that O’Connell was released in favor of Becht.

“It’s our constant desire to try to get better and play to our strengths,” Haley said. “Jake was out there and we were able to get him back on the roster. Unfortunately, we had to make a move, but we’ve been very happy with a lot of things Anthony has done also. Again, just trying to figure out a way to maximize what we’re doing.”

Becht suffered a hamstring injury in Kansas City’s 20-17 loss to San Diego last Sunday, but Haley said the injury wasn’t a factor in the roster move. It’s is the second time Becht has been cut this month.

Becht was first released a day after making the Chiefs 53-man roster out of training camp when Kansas City claimed T Steve Maneri off waivers from New England. The veteran was brought back 11 days later in a late-week transaction to take O’Connell’s place on the active roster.

Used primarily as a blocker, Becht drew a start when the Chiefs opened in a two tight end set at Detroit. He played in two games with the Cheifs, but did not record any statistics.

O’Connell caught one pass for 15 yards in the season opener vs. Buffalo. He reportedly worked out for the Patriots earlier this week.

Shields, Schottenheimer Make HOF Ballot

The Chiefs are well represented on this year’s list of preliminary nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Former Chiefs head coach Marty Schottenheimer and G Will Shields are among 11 first-year eligible candidates.

Former Chiefs T Willie Roaf, CB Albert Lewis, K Nick Lowery, and head coach Dick Vermeil all return this year as modern-era preliminary nominees as well.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 semifinalist nominees from a list of 103 candidates in mid-November. Those 25 nominees will be reduced to 15 modern-era finalists in early January.

The Class of 2012 will be selected from the 15 modern-era finalists, along with two senior nominees. Inductees will be announced Saturday, February 4, 2012, one day before Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is also among the first-year eligible modern-era candidates. Cowher served as the Chiefs defensive coordinator from 1989-91.

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