KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It wasn’t the best-case scenario. But on the plus side, it wasn’t the worst-case for Kansas City Chiefs fans, either.
An MRI revealed that Pro Bowl outside linebacker Tamba Hali suffered a “slight” ankle sprain in Sunday’s 41-38 defeat to the San Diego Chargers, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said today. The coach was relieved that it wasn’t a high ankle sprain, as had been initially feared.
The latest word on the Chiefs’ other star pass-rusher, though, was more inconclusive.
Reid said outside linebacker Justin Houston suffered a subluxed right elbow Sunday, and the swelling was so severe that an MRI that had been scheduled for this morning had to be postponed.
”You could see that it was puffing up a bit (after the game),” Reid said. “We’ll wait and see.”
Houston, who leads the Chiefs in sacks with 11, greeted reporters at the team’s headquarters Monday afternoon wearing a sling around his injured elbow and with his right wrist immobilized with heavy tape.
The former University of Georgia star declined to make any comment on his status, though, saying only, “They told me not to talk.”
Reid did not elaborate as to the status of either pass-rusher for Sunday’s showdown with co-AFC West leader Denver at Arrowhead Stadium.
A subluxation is a partial dislocation, and typically takes two to four weeks to heal properly.
Reid said he expected to know more about both players when the team reconvenes for practice Wednesday. The coach seemed more optimistic about the status of Hali, who appeared to roll his ankle on the first play of the second quarter of Sunday’s loss and left the field on a cart.
”I think both he and the doctors … felt better after his MRI,” Reid said.
Reid said Hali could walk and rehab in water today without serious discomfort and was down from two crutches to one, “so we’re halfway there.”
Linebackers Frank Zombo and Dezman Moses came off the bench to replace Hali and Houston, respectively, on the first-team defense against the Chargers.
“I don’t feel any extra or any added pressure, but I definitely understand what needs to be done,” said Moses, who recorded four sacks in 2012 as a member of the Green Bay Packers. “That’s my job as a backup — when one of those guys does go down, you’ve got to be able to come in and prepare and be ready to do your thing.”
Houston ranks third in the league in sacks; Hali (9.0) is second on the club and tied for 10th in the NFL.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at email@example.com.