The Chiefs’ banged-up interior defensive line took another hit Thursday, as the club placed defensive tackle Jaye Howard on injured reserve, essentially ending his season.
Howard, 27, has missed the Chiefs’ last three games because of a hip flexor. It’s just another blow to a defensive front that lost defensive end Allen Bailey for the season in mid-October because of a torn pectoral muscle, while starting nose tackle Dontari Poe only played 14 snaps in the Chiefs’ last game because of back spasms and has also missed the last two practices.
Howard, who signed a two-year, $12 million contract last offseason, has recorded 23 tackles and a sack in eight games this season. He and Bailey have been replaced by youngsters Chris Jones and Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who have each earned praise from coach Andy Reid in recent weeks.
Teams are allowed to move one player per year from injured reserve to the active roster, but players must spend at least eight weeks on IR once placed on it. That means the earliest Howard could conceivably return is in late January following the AFC Championship Game.