Alex Smith to Miss 6 Weeks With Lacerated Spleen
The Kansas City Chiefs were about to enter week 17 with a shot at sneaking into the playoffs. Attempting to do so just got a lot harder.
According to multiple reports, starting quarterback Alex Smith will sit out of Kansas City’s regular season finale due to a lacerated spleen. Smith reportedly hurt himself last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was able to finish the game. Smith even practiced earlier in the week, but reported discomfort to the training staff and later discovered he had a laceration to his spleen.
Given a six-week recovery timetable, Smith would be ready for the Super Bowl at the earliest. It’s almost certain that Smith won’t play again this year, even if the Chiefs went on a wild playoff run, while the team would likely exercise extreme caution with such a serious issue, regardless.
On to Daniel
With Smith basically done for the year, Kansas City turns to Chase Daniel, who they signed as a backup two seasons ago. Daniel has attempted just one pass all year and only attempted 38 passes last year with the Chiefs. Much like Smith, Daniels is a smart quarterback with strong leadership ability, but doesn’t have a strong arm.
Hypothetically, Daniel can arguably do just about everything Smith can do, but he has to be considered a mild downgrade from the more reliable Smith. That could put the Chiefs behind the eight ball as they host the division rival San Diego Chargers in a huge week 17 clash.
The Chiefs were already facing an uphill battle to get into the playoffs, but the loss of Smith could mark the end of the line for them. Still, Daniel has enough talent and knows the system, so he and the Chiefs can’t be completely ruled out just yet. It certainly hurts their chances to beat San Diego, but if they can get past the Chargers they’d only need the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens to lose to sneak into the AFC’s final spot.
At this point it wouldn’t be the smartest thing to bet on the Chiefs to beat the Chargers, but it wouldn’t be completely crazy. Kansas City making the playoffs is still a far-fetched idea, though, while advancing very far could be a lot to task with their backup quarterback controlling the offense.
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