Chiefs’ Fisher, Hali sit out practice; Bowe cleared to play
01/01/2014 11:34 PM
05/16/2014 11:11 AM
Chiefs rookie offensive tackle Eric Fisher was held out of practice Wednesday after suffering a strained groin in practice Tuesday.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali, who has been bothered by a swollen knee, was on the field during the period reporters are allowed to observe, but did not take part in the team practice.
If Fisher, the starting right tackle, is unable to play in Saturday’s 3:35 p.m. playoff game at Indianapolis, he would be replaced by second-year tackle Donald Stephenson, who had been filling in at left tackle for Branden Albert.
Albert, who missed the last four games because of a hyperextended knee, has been a full participant in practice the last two weeks and is expected to start Saturday.
Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, who suffered a concussion in the Dec. 22 game against the Colts, was cleared to play.
The Colts said nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin (knee) and defensive tackle Fili Moala (knee) did not practice and wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) was limited.Dealing with history
The Chiefs are aware it has been a long time since the club has won a playoff game, but linebacker Derrick Johnson did not realize it has been 20 years.
Johnson has been part of playoff losses in 2006 at Indianapolis and in 2010 against Baltimore.
“That’s a crazy number,” Johnson said of the 20 years since the Chiefs beat the Houston Oilers following the 1993 season, reaching the AFC championship game. “But every team is different. So the reason I don’t know that number is because it has nothing to do with this team. This coaching staff and this team is very different. We’ve got a lot confidence going into the postseason. Hopefully it shows.”
The Chiefs have lost an NFL-record seven straight postseason games, and three of those have been against Indianapolis — in 1995, 2003 and 2006.
“A lot of things are different,” Johnson said. “Different quarterback we don’t think about that much at all.”Colts shuffle line
Because of injuries, the Colts have started five different guards — Jeff Linkenbach, Mike McGlynn, Xavier Nixon, Joe Reitz and Hugh Thornton — during the last four weeks of the season. They’ve also used two centers: McGlynn and Samson Satele.
Even with all the different bodies, the line, which also includes tackles Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus, has allowed just three sacks in quarterback Andrew Luck’s last 152 passing attempts.
“It just tells everybody that we are getting better,” Thornton said.
So who will start Saturday against the Chiefs?
“Probably like solving the Rubik’s Cube,” Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano said. “It’s great to have all those guys available and guys have done a great job filling in for when guys have been out. We’ll put the best five out there that we feel give us the best chance to win the football game.”