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Chiefs say players injured in playoff loss to Colts are on the mend

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at 7:01 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, at 8:51 p.m.

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The Chiefs provided an update Tuesday on the small army of players who got injured in their 45-44 first-round playoff loss to Indianapolis on Saturday.

Running back Jamaal Charles, receiver Donnie Avery and cornerback Brandon Flowers all suffered concussions. They are improving and completing concussion protocol testing.

Receiver Dwayne Bowe has a mild foot sprain while linebacker Justin Houston has a knee sprain and bone bruise. They are both improving as their rehab continues.

Running back Knile Davis has a left knee sprain and fibula fracture and is making progress as his rehab continues.

In a radio interview with 810 Sports on Tuesday, Chiefs coach Andy Reid indicated that Davis is OK. He missed all of the 2011 season at Arkansas with a broken left ankle.

“He’ll be fine,” Reid said. “That scared the heck out of him.”

Before he got hurt in the second half, Davis had sufficiently carried the load for Charles, rushing 18 times for 67 yards and a touchdown while also catching seven passes for 33 yards and a touchdown.

It was the second straight strong outing for Davis, a third-round rookie who bounced back after fumbling twice (losing one) in a deflating loss to Indianapolis on Dec. 22.

“He came in with the reputation of being a fumbler ― sometimes that’s hard to get over,” Reid said. “I thought he did a good job. He had the one game against Indy where he coughed it up a few times but up to that he’d done well and then, San Diego was great because he got to be the starter, got reps under his belt, hung on to the football when he was fresh, when he was tired. You got to see the whole thing.”

Reid also praised Davis’ work on special teams, where he returned one kick for a touchdown this year despite being new to the position.

“He learned how to be a kick returner,” Reid said. “That wasn’t something that he came to us doing. (Special teams coach) Dave (Toub) saw the potential in him and he worked his tail off. He started training camp working on catching kick after kick before practice, after practice, and he got himself to where he’s a legitimate threat at doing that.”

During the radio interview, which lasted 30 minutes, Reid also touched on what it was like to watch Charles, his most dynamic threat, go down with an injury only six plays into their biggest game of the year Saturday.

“When Jamaal hit (the ground) I knew right there, that’s not good,” Reid said. “Like I said, he’s a tough kid and with head injuries, the concussions, the chance of a player coming back, that’s not going to happen. The league and the doctors and medical staffs throughout the National Football League have a protocol they go through. Can I tell you through each step? I can’t. They take them through all the tests and make sure … they stick to the protocol.”

Reid said his first concern was Charles’ health.

“It happened right in front of our bench, so you got to see it,” Reid said. “You know the kid and you just know you’re moving on. Those plays that were in for him, you just scrap. And you’re moving on to the next bunch of plays.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/TerezPaylor.

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