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Chiefs Notebook: Belcher added to watch list

Posted Sep 6, 2012

Linebacker Jovan Belcher missed Thursday’s practice with a groin injury


“Inactives” are turned in to NFL officials 90 minutes prior to kickoff each gameday. This single sheet of paper signed by each head coach declares seven players ineligible to play for each team, creating two 46-man rosters.

This Sunday, 10:30 a.m. (CST) will carry plenty of significance in Kansas City’s regular season opener against Atlanta. The Chiefs currently have six defensive starters either suspended or with injury questions heading into Sunday’s game.

“I’ve got what I’ve got and we’re going to go to battle with who we have, and that’s the way you have to do it in this business,” Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel said Thursday.

Inside linebacker Jovan Belcher is the latest defensive starter to be added to the Chiefs injury report. Belcher aggravated his groin in practice on Wednesday, prompting Crennel to rest the strong-side “Thumper” on Thursday.

Fellow starting inside linebacker Derrick Johnson continues to be limited with an ankle injury from the preseason finale, meaning the Chiefs top two tacklers from last season are both in question heading into Sunday. Brandon Siler and Cory Greenwood serve as the backups to Belcher and Johnson.

“As long as I have enough confidence that I can run around, make plays and not hurt the team then I will be out there on Sunday,” Johnson said following Thursday’s practice.

“I think I’ll get more confidence as the game comes Sunday. My mindset is not to sit out this game. I’ve got to play this game. I’ve got play.”

Other defensive starters nursing injuries include cornerback Brandon Flowers (foot), safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) and nose tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle). The Chiefs will also be without top pass rusher Tamba Hali, who is serving a one-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

“I think if you saw the game last night – we talked about backups stepping up – and I think there’s that receiver (Kevin Ogletree) who ended up fighting to get on the team and he was active because he was the third receiver and fighting for that spot and he came through and helped his team win,” Crennel said. “That’s what backups have to do; they have to be ready to go when they get the opportunity and be able to step up and help their team win. Whoever we put out there, that’s what I expect from him.”

It’s a “next man up” battle cry inside the Chiefs locker room this week with Atlanta’s offensive firepower rolling into town. So far the only defensive starter assured to miss Sunday’s game is Hali, but a handful of Chiefs reserves are preparing for starting assignments just in case.

Crennel hinted that some of Sunday’s inactive decisions could lead right up to the 90-minute pre-game deadline.

“Players are competitive and they want to be there and help the team and their teammates win, but you have to look at it objectively,” Crennel said. “You have to say going down the road, the first game versus 15 others and having a guy available for 15. I think that plays a big part in it. You as a coach have to do what you think is best for your team for the season.”

Kansas City Chiefs Injury Report

Player

Pos.

Injury

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Game Status

Anthony Toribio

DT

Ankle

DNP

DNP

Allen Bailey

DL

Ankle

DNP

DNP

Kendrick Lewis

S

Shoulder

DNP

DNP

Derrick Johnson

LB

Ankle

LP

LP

Jalil Brown

CB

Groin

LP

LP

Brandon Flowers

CB

Foot

LP

LP

Jovan Belcher

LB

Groin

---

DNP

Atlanta Falcons Injury Report

Player

Pos.

Injury

Wed.

Thurs.

Fri.

Game Status

Christopher Owens

CB

Hamstring

LP

FP

Jason Snelling

RB

Calf

LP

FP

Out = definitely will not play

Did Not Practice (DNP)

Limited Participation (LP) = less than 100% of a player’s normal repetitions

Full Participation (FP) = 100% of a player’s normal repetitions

Number Changes

Several Chiefs changed jersey numbers for the regular season.

Safety Tysyn Hartman will wear #31 – Hartman wore #46 during the preseason while #31 was occupied by safety Terrance Parks.

Running Back Cyrus Gray will wear #32 – Gray wore #42 during the preseason while #32 was occupied by safety Abram Elam and running back Shaun Draughn.

Safety Abram Elam will wear #27 – Elam switches in to the jersey number previously worn by defensive back Donald Washington.

Defensive End Ropati Pitoitua will wear #75 – Pitoitua wore #77 during the preseason. Offensive lineman previously wore #75.

Outside linebacker Edgar Jones will wear #99 – Jones wore #71 during the preseason. Defensive lineman Amon Gordon previously wore #99.

Red Friday Nearing

Don’t forget to rock your red on Friday.

The Chiefs will be selling commemorative Red Friday Magazines for the 20th consecutive year throughout Kansas City on Friday morning. This year’s charity benefactor is Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. A donation of $2 is suggested for each magazine.

There is a ton of stuff going on throughout the city on Friday. Be sure to tell us what you see on Twitter using the #RedFriday hashtag.

Check out Red Friday’s live events, guest appearances and magazine sale locations here.