A week after the NFL season greeted the Chiefs with three season-ending injuries, its encore Sunday gave them a glimpse into life without running back Jamaal Charles and safety Eric Berry.
Or will it be more than a glimpse?
Charles suffered a high ankle sprain, and Berry sprained an ankle in Sunday's loss at Denver, coach Andy Reid said Monday.
Reid provided no timetable for the players’ return. A high ankle sprain can often result in a multiweek absence, but Reid says Charles’ injury “doesn’t look to be a real severe one.
“It does have the component of a high ankle sprain,” Reid said. “What does that mean? We’ll see.”
While Charles’ status for Sunday’s game in Miami remains in limbo, another member of the Chiefs’ backfield could be set for his season debut. Running back De’Anthony Thomas, who missed the first two weeks because of a hamstring strain, could be ready to return this week, Reid said.
“(Thomas) should be able to work himself back in this week,” Reid said. “We’ll just see how he does once we get to Wednesday.”
In other injury news, Reid added that safety Husain Abdullah is dealing with a foot contusion and running back Cyrus Gray has a foot strain, but Reid labeled those injuries minor.
Charles left Sunday’s loss in Denver after only two first-quarter carries for four yards. Berry departed for the locker room shortly before halftime. Neither returned to the game, and the Chiefs lost 24-17.
The Chiefs played most of the preseason without both players. Berry did not play a snap in the preseason because of a lingering heel injury. Charles suffered a foot injury when he was moving out of training camp in St. Joseph, limiting him to only three preseason carries.
Charles’ contribution over the first two weeks of the regular season has been similarly paltry. He has turned nine carries into 23 yards.
But he remains the Chiefs’ obvious top playmaker, with nearly 8,000 career total yards to his name. Knile Davis filled in admirably in Charles’ absence Sunday — he carried 22 times for 79 yards and two scores — but lacks the big-play ability Charles offers.
Asked how the game plan would change if Charles is unavailable Sunday, Reid said: “I don’t think it would change much from what you saw yesterday. (Davis) was involved in a lot of different areas.”
Davis, a third-round choice in 2013, has made only one career start. He rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns in last season’s finale against San Diego, a game in which the Chiefs opted to rest their starters.
Berry was replaced Sunday by Ron Parker, who had spent the bulk of his time with the Chiefs as a cornerback. But the safety position isn’t entirely foreign to Parker, who was an All-American free safety at Division II Newberry (S.C.).
“He would probably tell you that’s his natural position,” Reid said. “…We’ve had him learn that position because we want to put who we consider the best players out there as often as we possibly can. … That’s why he’s out there.”
The Chiefs lost three starters for the season in their opening-week loss to the Titans. Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito ruptured their Achilles’ tendons, and Jeff Allen required surgery last week to repair a bicep tendon in his elbow.