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Camp injuries catch up with Chiefs secondary

DEC 08 Raiders at Chiefs
(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire)

The first week of camp came and went without any significant injuries to the Kansas City Chiefs’ secondary.  After the first day off of training camp, things changed dramatically.

The team got one back to start the day.  Cornerback Kenneth Acker had been out with a slight groin injury early in camp but returned to the practice field on Thursday.  Then, the defense subsequently lost 3 more cornerbacks on the day.

The team lost second-year player Keith Baxter (#46, Marshall) to a wrist injury. Later, the defense also lost rookie Jr Nelson (#30, Montana) with a groin injury. Both players had been running with the reserves and had been practicing fully up until this point.

JAN 01 Chiefs at Chargers - SAN DIEGO, CA - January 01: Kansas City Chiefs Cornerback Phillip Gaines (23) warming up for the NFL Football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers.

(Photo by Tom Walko/Icon Sportswire)

The more concerning injury came earlier in the day when starting cornerback Terrance Mitchell left the field on the cart. It was later reported that he has a pulled hamstring and his status is unknown for his return to practice.

The loss of Mitchell for any significant time will create a concern for the teams starting caliber Corners as well as the depth at the position. In his place, Phillip Gaines saw snaps as the first-team nickel cornerback. That allowed Stephen Nelson to slide outside to the right corner position.

The concern with Gaines remains the injury risk. Gaines has not been able to stay healthy in his short career in Kansas City. If games were to suffer subsequent injury as well, The deeper down the depth chart will be at a noticeably lower experience level. Options would include D.J. white, the newly returned Kenneth Acker, or possibly rookie Ashton Lampton.

Bolstering the Chiefs defensive line

The newest Chief was on hand for Thursday’s practice. Newly-signed nose tackle Roy Miller took the practice field wearing #98.

Miller is stout against the run and gives the team another option at nose tackle. He commented on his new team, saying:

“You know what, watching this team the last couple of years it has been a highly competitive team. A team when you watch on film they have a lot of confidence. I am excited to be here. I am excited to be a part of that.”

It also allows Bennie Logan to move out to defensive tackle in the absence of Chris Jones. Chris Jones continues to recover from a knee scope procedure two weeks before the opening of camp.

Logan looked comfortable on Thursday playing outside. He was able to take advantage of his power and create pressure on the quarterback. If Jones’ recovery is delayed at all, Logan could see time as a starting defensive tackle.

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A University of Kansas grad, Ryan is an Exercise Physiologist and NSCA-certified Strength & Conditioning Coach and data analyst. Ryan founded Rogue Analytics Consulting and developed the Athletic Matrix TM. His focus is player evaluation, roster building, and team management. Ryan has lived in every city in the old AFC West, including Seattle. Follow @RyanTracyNFL for more Chiefs and NFL coverage.

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