This week the Kansas City Chiefs (6-4) will travel to Mexico City for a Monday Night Football showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6). After splitting their season series last season, the Week 11 matchup will be the first time the teams’ paths cross in 2019.
On Thursday, the Chiefs official injury report listed 13 players in total but revealed some encouraging news as it relates to the offensive line. According to the team, LT Eric Fisher (groin) and OG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (ankle) were listed as full participants at Thursday’s practice while OT Mitchell Schwartz (knee) was limited.
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Although Thursday’s practice was helmet-free, it was Fisher’s first practice action since Week 2. Duvernay-Tardif returned to the field after missing the past two weeks.
Despite being the team’s only limited practice participant, Schwartz’s presence was a welcome sight following a knee injury that knocked him out Kansas City’s Week 10 matchup in Tennessee, snapping an NFL-long streak of 7,894 consecutive snaps. A Twitter video posted by Chiefs Digest reporter Matt Derrick also showed Schwartz wearing a large knee brace.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (full), WR Sammy Watkins (full), DT Chris Jones (full), and DE Frank Clark (full) were among the other notable names listed on the early report.
Chargers players express frustration with Colorado practices
It has become more commonplace in recent years for NFL teams to spend time practicing in the Colorado altitude before traveling to play games in Mexico. Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the site of Monday night’s game between the Chiefs and Chargers, is located approximately 7,300 feet above sea level. As a result, the Chargers elected to practice at Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado this week, with an approximate elevation of 6,000 feet.
Earlier in the week, Los Angeles Head Coach Anthony Lynn shed insight into his decision to shake up his team’s routine.
“I know research and science says it takes more days than seven or eight days [to acclimate], but as a player, I’ve been on that field,” said Lynn. “I’ve been in Dallas, Texas, and Wyoming the very next day, so I’ve felt the effect.”
Lynn’s players, however, do not all share their coach’s outlook, according to Colorado native and current Chargers RB Austin Ekeler.
“I think there’s a lot of mixed feelings about us coming here,” said Ekeler. “Me personally, I kind of like the change-up. I’m probably a little biased, obviously, because I’m from here. I was looking forward to being back in Colorado for a week, but I know some people disagree with that. They would rather have it at our own facility, back in our regular routine.”
Pro Bowl DEJoey Bosa did acknowledge marginal benefits with breathing, but also cast doubt over the overall strategy.
“You notice a difference out there a little bit with breathing,” Bosa commented. “I don’t know if a few practices is enough to get acclimated to it. But, we’re here. We’ll make the most of it.”
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