The Kansas City Chiefs put center Rodney Hudson on injured reserve with a broken bone in his left leg and signed offensive linemen Russ Hochstein and Bryan Mattison to provide depth.
The moves came one day after Chiefs put cornerback Jacques Reeves on IR.
Kansas City Coach Romeo Crennel announced veteran guard Ryan Lilja will start at center on Sunday against San Diego Chargers, and rookie Jeff Allen will take his place. It’ll be the same arrangement that Kansas City used once Hudson was hurt in last Sunday’s overtime victory in New Orleans Saints.
”In this job, that’s what they tell you, ‘There will be 3 things you don’t expect to happen every day.’ Not just each week, but each day. So you have to handle it,” Crennel announced. ”You have to replace guys that are not available.”
Last season, it was the quality of players hurt: Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, All-Pro RB Jamaal Charles, QB Matt Cassel and tight end Tony Moeaki.
This year, it’s been sheer quantity.
Starting cornerback Brandon Flowers and backup Jalil Brown are back after missing time earlier this season, linebacker Crane Johnson has been hobbled, and safety Kendrick Lewis remains limited in practice with a right shoulder injury sustained during a preseason game.
Tight end Kevin Boss sustained a head injury 2 weeks back at Buffalo, and he missed practice along with running back Peyton Hillis, who hurt his ankle in the overtime win over the New Orleans Saints.
WRs Dexter McCluster (elbow) and Devon Wylie (hamstring), tight end Jake O’Connell (knee) and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle) were all limited. Las Vegas odds
Lilja was also limited in practice, even though he’s meant to be the guy replacing Hudson at center, a situation where he’s never started a game in the NFL.
”I thought Lilja did a brilliant job (against Saints), to tell you the truth,” Crennel claimed. ”He had shotgun snaps with no QB-center exchange issues in there. I thought Allen did a nice job, coming in and playing actually for the 1st sustained time.”
Hudson, a 2nd-year pro, had done an admirable job taking over the beginning center spot for Casey Wiegmann, who chose not to return for his 16th season in the NFL.
How it looks, it should be several weeks with him,” Crennel recounted. ”There’s a broken bone, but it does not require surgery. He has got to be off it for a couple of weeks, and then several weeks with crutches, so it’s going to be most of the season.”
Hochstein has ties to Crennel and Chiefs GM Scott Pioli from his time with the New England Patriots, where he spent the great majority of his career. The 34-year-old lineman has started 36 of the 137 games he’s played over 10 seasons in New England, Tampa Bay and Denver.
Mattison has started 4 of the 15 games he’s played with Baltimore Ravens and St. Louis Rams.
Both new offensive linemen were due at practice Wednesday, when the Kansas City Chiefs were scheduled to work out without pads, giving some of the ailing men an extra day without contact.