Chiefs first-round pick and outside linebacker Dee Ford hasn’t been able to make much of an impact on the defensive side of the ball as he’s played behind Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
But Ford has slowly been seeing more action on special teams.
“We’re giving him more and more, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’ve got him on two phases as a starter now and he almost blocked a punt last week,” special teams coach Dave Toub said.
Ford has shown some nastiness, too. Shortly after he barely missed out on a blocked punt, he laid out Jets punter Ryan Quigley while trying to block for De’Anthony Thomas on a punt return.
“He came around, and he’d probably like to have that one back,” Toub said. “He needs to wall him off instead of laying out the punter there in that situation. The fact that he did come clean and almost blocked the punt that’s a step in the right direction.
“He’s moving forward and doing more and more for us, in the return game too in the back end as a blocker.”
Lions happy to avoid Arrowhead
While the Chiefs spent much of Thursday dealing with fan fallout from the announcement that they would surrender a home game next year to play in London, their opponent in that game — the Detroit Lions — welcomed the chance to face the Chiefs away from Arrowhead Stadium.
“Yeah, clearly,” Lions president Tom Lewand said. “Like I said, it was an advantage to play the Falcons on a neutral site this year and not play them at the Georgia Dome. It’ll be an advantage next year to play the Chiefs on a neutral site instead of at Arrowhead.”
Lewand was then asked if he was surprised the Chiefs were willing to give up a home game.
“You’d have to ask the Chiefs that question,” Lewand said. “I know Clark Hunt is the chairman of the international committee. There’s a lot of different reasons that people think about when they’re considering giving up a home game, so I leave that to their considerations. And there’s lots of different lease situations. I know our situation here is such that we wouldn’t be in a position to give up home games.”
Nose tackle Dontari Poe has logged three snaps as a fullback on offense, giving good effort as a blocker on each and leading the way for two Jamaal Charles touchdowns.
“Man, I’ve got to,” Poe said. “I’m trying to score. It’s all good and fun, man, I like it.”
Poe said he hasn’t been promised he’ll get the football at some point, however.
“I don’t need that, man,” Poe said. “I just go. I just go.”
No fine for Santos
A league spokesman confirmed in an email that kicker Cairo Santos was not fined for tripping Jets receiver Percy Harvin last week.
Santos attempted a soccer-style, legs-first tackle of Harvin during a 65-yard kickoff return. Santos was assessed a 10-yard penalty for tripping on the play.
Jets cornerback Marcus Williams was not fortunate enough to avoid a fine. Williams was fined $16,537 on Friday for his horse-collar tackle on the Chiefs’ Dwayne Bowe.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said receiver Donnie Avery (groin), cornerback Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and linebacker Jerry Franklin (hamstring) will not play Sunday against the Bills.
This will mark the fifth straight game Avery will miss since undergoing core muscle surgery, and the second straight game missed by Fleming.
Cornerback Phillip Gaines (ankle/quadriceps) was a full participant in practice this week, but is listed as questionable on the injury report, which means he has a 50-50 chance of playing, per the NFL.
Linebacker Josh Martin (hamstring/knee) and cornerback Chris Owens (knee) are also listed as questionable after being limited in practice Friday.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali (knee) was a limited participant in Friday’s practice but is listed as probable.
The Bills have two significant players, receiver Sammy Watkins and running back Fred Jackson, listed on their injury report. Both are suffering from groin injuries, and both are questionable, though Bills coach Doug Marrone told reporters Thursday that Jackson is “not ready” for game action yet.