While the Kansas City Chiefs’ 34-20 opening night victory over the Houston Texans was an overall success, the defending Super Bowl champions did not escape Week 1 entirely unscathed. After the game, head coach Andy Reid provided injury updates on multiple Chiefs players, including DT Khalen Saunders and CB Charvarius Ward.
Injuries: Ward fractured hand, Okafor slight hamstring strain, Saunders dislocated elbow
— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) September 11, 2020
For Ward, a broken hand can typically take up to a few months to heal completely, however in replying to a postgame #BeBackSoon tweet from Saunders, the third-year cornerback suggested that he may be in line for a quicker recovery.
Me too https://t.co/HRbIylp4QG
— Charvarius Ward (@itslilmooney) September 11, 2020
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On Friday, the Chiefs received an encouraging update on their starting left cornerback, who will have surgery on his injured hand, but still has an outside chance to suit up for the Chiefs’ Week 2 contest versus the Los Angeles Chargers, per NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
#Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward is slated for surgery on his broken hand, source said. But based on the position he plays, it wouldn’t be unprecedented if he puts a cast on it and plays. Plus, Ward and KC have 3 extra days to get ready for their next game.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 11, 2020
Chiefs Thin on Cornerback Depth
Kansas City, in an effort to bolster one of the roster’s weaker positional groups, spent multiple draft picks on cornerbacks in April, including fourth-rounder L’Jarius Sneed and seventh-rounder BoPete Keyes. Considering the degree of difficulty rookie cornerbacks face in getting up to speed at the NFL level, Sneed was a pleasant surprise on Thursday night, playing 93 percent of defensive snaps and recording three tackles and his first career interception.
The timing of Ward’s injury, while a positive considering there are 15 games remaining in the regular season, puts the Chiefs secondary in a vulnerable position as fellow starting CB Bashaud Breeland serves a four-game suspension to begin the season.
Offseason addition Antonio Hamilton and 2019 sixth-round pick Rashad Fenton were both able to step in to help replace Ward’s production in Week 1, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo may be forced to lean on his rookies or get creative with the likes of Tyrann Mathieu and Daniel Sorensen in the coming weeks.