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Chiefs expect injured starters back

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 8:18 p.m.

The Chiefs are expecting running back Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and tight end Tony Moeaki to participate in practice Friday when training camp begins at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph.

General manager Scott Pioli said the Chiefs are also anticipating that their other rehabbing players, including safety Kendrick Lewis and linebacker Brandon Siler, will practice Friday, too.

“Everything we’ve been led to believe is that the guys are going to be ready,” Pioli said. “Now, we’re going to have to see when they come in (Thursday) to take their physicals. They’ve been away for a while and they’ll come in to take their physicals and we’ll see how they are.

“They’ll be ready, but I also think we’re going to be smart with all players, not only the ones who were on injured-reserve last year. We’re going to have to monitor as we go along.”

Charles, Berry and Moeaki missed all or most of last season because of similar injuries: torn knee ligaments. Siler missed all of last season because of a torn Achilles tendon while Lewis played most of the season but injured his shoulder in the final game and subsequently had surgery.

“You have to be smart with them,” Pioli said. “They’re coming back and their bodies haven’t been stressed. Even though they’re ready, you have to manage them. When guys are coming off certain surgeries or injuries, if they go hard one day they may have a little swelling, swelling in their knee or swelling in their shoulder.

“That’s when you say, ‘OK, he’s gone hard four days here. He’s got a little swelling so let’s take it easy and not overstress it.’ You need to monitor those things.”

Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and nose tackle Dontari Poe remained unsigned Tuesday.

Bowe, who has been designated the Chiefs’ franchise player, has yet to sign the team’s one-year contract offer worth about $9.5 million.

Poe is one of five first-round picks without a contract.

Pioli wouldn’t address the specifics of those situations.

“Those things will work themselves out as they’re supposed to,” he said.

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