Thursday, September 6, 2012

Derrick Johnson and Brandon Flowers Expected To Play Sunday

Yesterday we reported that while Derrick Johnson will likely play on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, several other key players were still question marks in regards to their availability. Chiefs fans get even better news today, as it appears star cornerback Brandon Flowers will likely be good to go for week one.

Flowers lined up with the starters in practice yesterday, which is a strong sign that he will be used heavily this Sunday. It is unlikely the Chiefs would use Flowers with the first-string defense this close to its first regular season game if he couldn’t play or would receive limited minutes. Flowers has made some big strides in the past couple of days in his recovery from a foot injury he sustained in late July.

While the Chiefs’ cornerback may be rusty after missing the entire preseason and getting limited practice time, Flowers should still be a big boost for Kansas City’s defense. The Falcons have several dangerous wide receivers, and the Chiefs will be missing Tamba Hali due to his one-game suspension.

Flowers’ return is also big because it appears that Kendrick Lewis will not be on the field Saturday. Asking the secondary to play well without Hali missing one starter is already a tall ordeal, and there is no way the unit would stop Atlanta if both Flowers and Lewis were missing on Sunday. Jalil Brown, who had replaced Flowers in the starting lineup, appears to be banged up as well.

Apart from Lewis, it appears that defensive linemen Anthony Toribio and Allen Bailey will not be able to go Sunday. Their absence means the team will depend on first-round pick Dontari Poe to make a difference for the Chiefs’ defensive line. The experience should benefit Poe, but the Chiefs are starting to get paper-thin in terms of depth. Any more injuries, and the defense may be unable to duplicate the success it enjoyed last season.

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