Chiefs put Hudson on IR, sign Mattison, Hochstein
The Chiefs put center Rodney Hudson on injured reserve Wednesday with a broken bone in his left leg and signed offensive linemen Russ Hochstein and Bryan Mattison to provide depth.
The moves came one day after Kansas City put cornerback Jacques Reeves on IR.
Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said veteran guard Ryan Lilja will start at center on Sunday against San Diego, and rookie Jeff Allen will take his place. It will be the same arrangement that Kansas City used once Hudson was hurt in last Sunday's overtime victory in New Orleans.
''In this job, that's what they tell you, `There are going to be three things you don't expect to happen every day.' Not just every week, but every day. So you have to deal with it,'' Crennel said. ''You have to replace guys that are not available.''
Last season, it was the quality of players hurt: Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry, All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles, quarterback Matt Cassel and tight end Tony Moeaki.
This year, it's been sheer quantity.
Starting cornerback Brandon Flowers and backup Jalil Brown are back after missing time earlier this season, linebacker Derrick Johnson has been hobbled, and safety Kendrick Lewis remains limited in practice with a right shoulder injury sustained during a preseason game.
Tight end Kevin Boss sustained a head injury two weeks ago at Buffalo, and he missed practice along with running back Peyton Hillis, who hurt his ankle in the overtime win over the Saints.
Wide receivers Dexter McCluster (elbow) and Devon Wylie (hamstring), tight end Jake O'Connell (knee) and defensive tackle Anthony Toribio (ankle) were all limited.
Lilja was also limited in practice, even though he's supposed to be the guy replacing Hudson at center, a position where he's never started a game in the NFL.
''I thought Lilja did an excellent job (against New Orleans), to tell you the truth,'' Crennel said. ''He had shotgun snaps with no quarterback-center exchange problems in there. I thought Allen did a nice job, coming in and playing really for the first sustained time.''
Hudson, a second-year pro, had done an admirable job taking over the starting center spot for Casey Wiegmann, who chose not to return for his 16th season in the NFL.
The way it looks, it's going to be several weeks with him,'' Crennel said. ''There's a broken bone, but it doesn't require surgery. He's got to be off it for several weeks, and then several weeks with crutches, so it's going to be most of the season.''
Hochstein has ties to Crennel and Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli from his time with the Patriots, where he spent the majority of his career. The 34-year-old lineman has started 36 of the 137 games he's played over 10 seasons in New England, Tampa Bay and Denver.
Mattison has started four of the 15 games he's played with Baltimore and St. Louis.
Both new offensive linemen were due at practice Wednesday, when the Chiefs were scheduled to work out without pads, giving some of the ailing guys an extra day without contact.
''You understand that things are going to happen that are out of your control. So you deal with it and move on, because you have to play the game,'' Crennel said. ''You deal with it, you have the next guy ready and you go from there.''