The Chiefs will juggle the starting five on the offensive line for the first time this season with left guard
Lilja suffered a head injury last week against New England, opening the door for rookie
“In our desire to continue to develop another center – obviously he’s our second center – but in our desire to try to get another guy going, we’ve kept him out of guard a bunch to try to give reps to a couple of the other guys to work on the center position, so he’s been mixed and that’s really one of his strengths,” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said.
One of Kansas City’s most versatile offensive linemen, Hudson is the only interior reserve lineman that the Chiefs roster. His flexibility has allowed the team to carry just eight offensive linemen throughout the season – four tackles and four interior players.
“I’ve been comfortable learning all three positions, it’s just about staying on top of it,” said Hudson. “I’m trying to keep learning with each opportunity that I get.”
Hudson has only played sparingly this season, but played the entire second half in place of Lilja last week.
“We had a bunch of confidence in Rodney up until that point, but again, much like Tyler (Palko), you don’t know until they’re actually in there,” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said. “We have great confidence in Rodney and his ability to come in and step in for Ryan, and for us to be able to do the things necessary that we feel that we need to do to have a chance to win offensively.”
“I’m excited,” Hudson said. “I felt like last week went pretty well for the first time, but there’s obvious room to improve in this next time out.”
Cassel Still Contributing
Injured Chiefs quarterback
He was in the Chiefs locker room Friday afternoon wearing a removable plastic cast on his throwing hand when he spoke publically for the first time since injuring that hand in the Chiefs November 13th loss to Denver.
“It happened on that third down play,” Cassel said, referring to a split sack by Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller late in the fourth quarter. “You probably saw me grab it coming off the field and then it was just a matter of getting in there for the x-ray to find out what the problem was.”
Though he declined to discuss specifics of the injury, Cassel’s hand required surgical repair and he was officially placed on injured reserve November 21st.
He described the recovery process as a “week-to-week type of thing.”
“I was disappointed in the fact that I wouldn’t be able to continue on with the team,” Cassel said. “You try to get a role in some way and continue to contribute to the team, and to help with Tyler (Palko) and whoever else is out there.”
As expected, newly-acquired QB
“We’ve got to get Kyle assimilated into how we’re doing things and make decisions as we get closer to the game and then obviously next week,” Haley said.
Orton will wear No. 8 in Kansas City.
Dorsey (knee) and Williams (groin) were injured in the Chiefs November 13th loss to Denver. McGraw has been nursing a shoulder injury since the Chiefs Halloween victory over San Diego on Monday Night Football.
Chiefs Injury Report
OUT: G Ryan Lilja (head)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Glenn Dorsey (knee), S Jon McGraw (shoulder), LB Demorrio Williams (groin)
Steelers Injury Report
Reports out of Pittsburgh suggest Steelers sack leader LaMarr Woodley will miss his third consecutive game with a lingering hamstring injury. Woodley was injured in the Steelers October 30th win vs. New England. He has 9.0 sacks this season.
QUESTIONABLE: WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring), LB Stevenson Sylvester (calf), LB LaMarr Woodley (hamstring)
PROBABLE: LB James Harrison (back), S Troy Polamalu (ribs), QB Ben Roethlisberger (right thumb), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee)
Toy Collection Sunday
For nearly five decades, the Chiefs have hosted an annual Toys for Tots collection along with members of the Marine Corps. The Chiefs will continue this tradition Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.
Now in its 46th season, the Chiefs Toys for Tots drive dates back further than any other NFL franchise and this year’s project will again be one that helps meet a significant need for area children. The Marines are asking Chiefs fans to donate new and unwrapped toys for boys and girls up to age 13. Again this year, there is a particular need for toys that older children can utilize.
All the toys will be collected at the Arrowhead Stadium entrances by members of the Marines’ 24th Regiment. Gates into the stadium open at 5:30 p.m. and kickoff for Sunday's game is scheduled for 7:20 p.m.
Fans may choose to make a financial contribution in lieu of a toy if they prefer. Cash or checks (made payable to "Toys for Tots”) will also be collected at stadium entry points by the Marines.
Last season, the Marines collected more than 1,300 toys and almost $13,500 in donations thanks to the benevolence of Chiefs fans. This year, the team is hoping to surpass those figures.