KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) In less than 10 seconds of game time, the Kansas City Chiefs went from having a celebratory long weekend to having one they would have preferred be as short as possible.
Poised to knock off AFC West rival Denver last Thursday night, the Chiefs instead allowed a pair of touchdowns – one of them after Jamaal Charles coughed up the ball for the second time – in the final moments for a dispiriting 31-24 defeat at Arrowhead Stadium.
They finally returned to work with a light practice Monday, and coach Andy Reid was in no mood to sulk over the Chiefs’ monumental meltdown with a trip to Green Bay on deck next Monday night.
”If you’re still on that game, you and I are in a different place,” Reid said on a conference call with reporters. ”We’re deep into the Packers and getting ready there.”
Reid said little had changed on the injury front, though left tackle Donald Stephenson did participate in Monday’s workout. He sprained his ankle against the Broncos, forcing Eric Fisher to play even though the former No. 1 overall draft pick has been nursing his own ankle.
Reid said that Fisher also could be ready to start against Green Bay.
”He’s feeling better. He’ll be in the right tackle spot,” Reid said. ”I want to see how he does as we get rolling here. Today was a bit better, bit of rest has helped him out. Looks like he is headed in the right direction. We’ll see how he does Thursday.”
The Chiefs (1-1) are taking Tuesday off before meetings on Wednesday, and then will go into their normal game-week preparations with full practices Thursday and Friday.
While Reid was quick to put the Broncos defeat behind him, it remains to be seen just how quickly his players will follow suit. Charles was especially dejected in the locker room afterward, since it was his fumble with 27 seconds remaining that proved to be decisive.
”I just know better as a vet, playing this game a long time,” Charles said. ”I have to know not to fumble the ball at the end of the game, know to try to make it go to overtime to compete for a win. I didn’t give us any chance and that’s the hardest feeling right there.”
His teammates were quick to rush to his defense, pointing to the dynamic touchdown run Charles ripped off early in the game, and the way he pounded the ball throughout the second half.
”It was obviously hyped up. It was Thursday night football, a division game. Then again, it is just another game,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. ”It’s one of 16 that we get and in the end we have everything that we want in front of us. It’s week two.”
In fact, that was precisely the message Reid delivered to his team in the postgame locker room, and one he likely delivered again when the team reconvened this week.
”Don’t let this beat us again,” Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston said Thursday night. ”We beat ourselves. We had too many turnovers, we gave up too many big plays on defense, so just get in the film room and look at what we did wrong, learn from our mistakes and move forward.”