All Hands On Deck … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs

This is the 20th week of the 2010 NFL season.

That’s two weeks of training camp, four weeks of the pre-season and then 14 weeks so far of the regular season.

As the Chiefs wrapped up their 20th week on Friday it was done with a remarkable achievement. For the third consecutive day the Chiefs had all 61 available players on the practice field and participating.

That’s 53 on the active roster and eight on the practice squad. They have only one player on the official NFL injury report that was turned in on Friday afternoon for all teams that will play on Sunday. QB Matt Cassel practiced on a limited basis on Friday and made the injury report as questionable.

Otherwise it was all hands on deck. That just does not happen in an NFL filled with the type of collisions that these players have experienced for 20 weeks. Of the 29 other teams that have already turned in this week’s injury report – only the Monday night participants Minnesota and Chicago have not reported – there’s an average of 8.9 players on their injury reports. (See the chart).  

It ranges from the Chiefs low of just Cassel, all the way up to Green Bay where there are 15 players listed.

Now allowances must be taken into account for how different teams report injuries. There are rules in the league, but there are no standards. A player could be on the injury report for one team, while another doesn’t mention their player with the same injury and circumstances in practice.

But of the 30 teams that practiced on Friday, five did not have at least one player that missed practice. The Chiefs, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami and Tampa Bay had all 53 players available in some fashion for practice. The teams do not submit injury reports on practice squad players.

When asked about the Chiefs ability to reach the last month of the season with all hands able to practice the first thing head coach Todd Haley did was knock on the wooden podium in front of him.

“I think there’s some luck involved, obviously,” Haley said. “We work really hard; I think the off-season comes into play with keeping your guys healthy; I think in-season keeping a strong, strong focus and emphasis on making our guys get into the cold tub and hydrate and take care of their bodies – eating, drinking – all the things that they’re supposed to do.

“It’s just an overall focus that you try to keep with your team and helps you a little bit in that area. Again, there’s some good fortune, too.”

Haley has put his team through a difficult off-season conditioning program and a rugged training camp that was made even tougher by the extreme heat of last summer. There was little let up when the regular season started. At that point in the football year, some coaches put the pads away and the only time their players wear them is on game-day. Others will wear pads one day, either Wednesday or Thursday, but not the others.

Throughout most of the 2010 season, the Chiefs have worn pads in practice. With those pads comes more physical practice work. Here in preparation before their 14th game of the season, they practiced in pads most of the week with all players involved.

“I think the way we practice comes into play because you’ve got to consider that we’re in pads a bunch this year; I would have to believe it’s as much or more than anybody else,” Haley said. “You’ve got some rough practices and you’ve got to practice the right way which means keeping guys off the ground and doing the little things.”

It’s also a mind over matter situation. That Cassel was the only player on the injury report does not mean he’s the only player in the Chiefs locker room who is hurting. There are bumps, bruises, lacerations, strains, pulls, sprains and the like all over the room. But nobody used their physical problem to earn a ticket to the rehab zone and watch practice.

“We’ve got a lot to play for right now and guys do not want to miss out on that, and they don’t want to let their teammates down,” said G Brian Waters.


When Brodie Croyle started in place of Matt Cassel last Sunday in San Diego the Chiefs became the 16th team to change their starting quarterback for injury or performance reasons. On Monday, the Vikings became team No. 17 when Brett Favre’s streak of 297 consecutive starts ended.

Now this weekend it’s looking like the number is about to grow to 20, two because of injury and one because of performance:

DENVER – Kyle Orton has started all 13 games to date but he was limited in practice all this week because of a rib injury. Rookie Tim Tebow worked with the No. 1 offense for most of the Broncos practice on Friday. Interim head coach Eric Studesville said he and the coaching staff will evaluate Orton from Friday’s practice and Saturday as well, before making a decision.

GREEN BAY – On Friday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy would not reveal his starting QB for Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Starter Aaron Rodgers has not practiced since he sustained his second concussion in two months last Sunday. He’s listed as doubtful on the Packers’ injury report. McCarthy said he would “leave the door open” until game time on whether Rodgers will start or backup Matt Flynn will get his first NFL start.

WASHINGTON – head coach Mike Shanahan has benched starter Donovan McNabb at the request of his offensive staff who have been unhappy with McNabb’s work habits and preparation all season. Rex Grossman will step into the starting role. McNabb is being moved to the No. 3 spot, as John Beck will be the backup on Sunday against Dallas. “There are a lot of mistakes that you make, you really don’t know if you made a mistake,” Shanahan said. “But if you do make one, you make it and you go on. What I want to do is evaluate where we’re at (at quarterback) at the end of the season, and then I will tell you if we erred or not.”


  • NFL – fined Giants DE Osi Umenyiora $12,500 for hitting Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson in the head; fined Broncos DE Kevin Vickerson $7,500 for a horse collar tackle; fined Rams S Oshiomogho Atogwe $5,000 for grabbing Saints RB Reggie Bush by the helmet; fined Vikings CB Asher Allen $5,000 for unnecessary roughness on a hit; fined Broncos CB Syd’Quan Thompson $5,000 for unnecessary roughness.
  • JAGUARS – placed CB Terrence Wheatley on the injured-reserve list (hamstring) ending his season; released LB Freddie Keiaho from the injured-reserve list (concussion); re-signed QB Todd Bouman.
  • TITANS – placed DE Dave Ball (concussion) and CB Ryan Mouton (hamstring) on the injured-reserve list ending their seasons; signed DE Hall Davis off their practice squad.

11 Responses to “All Hands On Deck … Saturday Cup O’Chiefs”

  • December 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    Being reported Croyle will QB the Chiefs. Hope for better results than SD game.

  • December 18, 2010  - Edward says:

    Shannahan will fail in Washington as head coach. Benching Mcnabb is just away keep heat off himself and put on #5 for reason their losing. In Denver I didn’t see him benching Jay Cutler for all those picks he threw. Like McDaniels his ego has alienated the team two best playerd Mcnabb and Haynesworth. First he comes in change the team to a 3-4 defense when it was a top 5 defense in 4-3. Which then takes away from him using his best player strength. Then he carries the drama of Haynesworth on too long. Now benching Mcnabb for Rex Grossman lol. Mcnabb bad season is product of playing on a bad team. Bad o-line, bad receivers, and no run game. This same team picked Bobby Wade and Joey Galloway lol. Shannahan will be fired after next season its obvious to me the game has passed him by and he’s looking for someone to blame for the mess he’s caused in Washington.

  • December 18, 2010  - RW says:

    If Cassel can get healthy enough to play for the remaining two home games and play well, I still like the Chief’s chances but the way SD has been coming on they look all the world as the better team. Meantime, the Croyle led Chiefs against StL have two chances. (Guess)

  • December 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    Interestingly, Hank Stram could not repeat in NO what he did in KC. So if not for Elway, Shannahan may not have been all that good in the first place. Also in Denver, his OL blocking skeme was something other team were not prepared for, now it is common place. When you are something special, in the NFL, you take advantage of it because it may vanish that quickly. Why am I so po’ed at the Chiefs, when opportunity knocks you answer the door or may miss out for years, YEARS.

  • December 18, 2010  - el cid says:

    RW, no answers here. It is asking a lot of Cassel to not only play but play well after the operation and lay off. It is just sad because I am predicting, no matter how this year ends, next year will be bitter in comparision. The we can listen to the good guys like Michael and Edward who see that bright future (I just worry about how long I will have to live before it happens, especially with this group in charge). I had hoped to outlive jane fonda but she seems to be pretty healthy, do not know if I will make it for the Chiefs.

  • December 18, 2010  - Chuck says:

    I think if you look “closely” those stats are quite misleading. Lets take Green Bay at the top of this list regarding injuries. They list “15″ players, but upon further investigation they also list 9 as “probable” and another 3 as “questionable”. Hense they are not as “riddled” with injuries as one might believe if they just looked at it from afar. Same goes for lots of the teams listed.

  • December 18, 2010  - RW says:


    Points taken. Lost on some, but not all, is the schedule being cake this year, playing the weak(er) NFC West in 2010. It won’t be that easy next season so the Chiefs had best get after it in the off-season to shore up some glaring needs.

  • December 18, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    I feel even with croyle this team will bounce back this week n give us a win. Seems like this year n the nfl if u get embarrassed one game the team bounces back n gets a win the next. We will see

  • December 18, 2010  - Michael says:

    The point is, el cid, RW or whoever else, no one knows what will happen next year. Tell me which one of you saw anything like what has happened with the Chiefs this year coming. Nope. After the last draft, which either puzzeld or p.o.’d most of us, and the way KC went through free agency, which I vehemently disagreed with, most KC fans were expecting another 4-12. A really, really, good year would be adding one or two W’s. I myself, was just hoping for a team that could plausibly pass for an NFL franchise.

    What I have seen happen this year is the emergence of a good, young team that will continue to get better. The Chiefs have a lot of young players that did, in fact, improve and mature this year who should continue that process next year. I see a managment team and coaching staff who know exactly what their football philosophy is and how they want to run a team, what kind of players and coaches they want, what kind of organization they want. To me, if you look at the NFL, these attributes are what make organizations successful year-in and year-out over the long haul. I may not agree with it all the time; the management, coaches and players may not be perfect or right all the time, but
    overall it gives an organization the best chance for long-term success. Know who and what you want to be, have a plan, and stick to it-see Pittsburgh and New England.

    Trying to figure out next year based on what teams are like this year can be fun, I guess, but who really thinks they’re going to get much of it right before a draft, free agency, trades and other changes that may happen. Really? And trying to predict how one division will do against another, before all this mind you, seems to me is way too sketchy, too. I guess, generally speaking, saying the AFC West as a whole might find it harder to get wins against the NFC Central than the NFC West sounds fairly reasonable, right now, based on present conditions. Just not very convincing for next year to me, though.

    Look, I want the Chiefs to win all of the rest of their games, get in the playoffs and make a run. At this moment, I believe they have a real shot to make the playoffs. From there, who knows. If they don’t, I will be completely bummed because they’ve done enough to get in position this year. I understand many fans think this is a golden opportunity-they believe the schedule and other stars have aligned this year, and that it’s this year or bust.

    I don’t happend to agree. I see a bright future ahead for the Chiefs, based on what I can see in front of me right now, and what I believe is a reasonable outlook for next year. It’s fine if other fans want to put a negative spin on all that has happened this year, and predict only negatives for next year. Seems a dark place for a fan to reside but, ok.

  • December 19, 2010  - Jonathan says:

    I agree with Michael and nothing has been made definite about Croyle starting against St Louis. If Cassell passes the tests on Sunday morning he will start. I feel the Chiefs can win their remaining three games and the AFC West. I still feel that San Diego will lose one more regular season game anyway.

    I wish others would stop saying that we should enjoy whatever happens this year because next year will be tough. No one knows how the schedule will play out, how the other teams will be constituted or for that matter how the Chiefs will be constituted. I like what Pioli and Haley are doing and feel confident they will keep Kansas City competitative for years to come. Let’s just keep focus on these next three games and how they play out.

  • December 19, 2010  - gorillafan says:

    Chiefs rule!!! I’m drunk. Haha! Sorry

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