Vickerson makes a quick impact
It didn’t take new Chiefs defensive end Kevin Vickerson long to make his presence known among his old Broncos teammates on Sunday.
Late in the first quarter, Vickerson and fellow lineman Vance Walker rotated in for starters Dontari Poe and Jaye Howard in the Chiefs’ base 3-4 defense. On a first-and-15 play, the Broncos tried to run the ball up the middle, only to see the 6-foot-5, 328-pound Vickerson swim past his blocker and haul down running back Montee Ball for a 2-yard loss.
Vickerson, who spent the last four years as a starter in Denver before he was released during the final cuts in training camp, said he made the play because h
e knew what was coming.
“I did, that’s just me reading my keys and playing the technique I was taught,” he said.
It was the kind of the play the Chiefs hoped to get when they signed Vickerson, 31, early last week in an attempt to replace another run stuffer in Mike DeVito, who was lost for the season to an Achilles’ injury.
Vickerson, not surprisingly, was eager to show the Broncos what they gave up.
“It was a business decision by them,” Vickerson said. “(And it was a) business move by me to come to Kansas City, so I could play these guys twice.
“(I) could have (gone) to Cincinnati, I chose these guys. So that’s what we’re going to rock with.”
Tight end Anthony Fasano quite possibly made the best catch of the Chiefs’ young season when he hauled in a 22-yard pass from Alex Smith in the fourth quarter.
Fasano juggled the ball as he fell to the ground but kept his concentration the whole way and brought it in while he was on his back.
“We needed to make a play and I knew we didn’t have a ton of options on that play,” Fasano said. “Alex threw a good ball up there and I just had to come down with it.”
Running back De’Anthony Thomas, who has been battling a sore hamstring for the better part of two weeks, headlined the list of inactive players on Sunday.
The others inactives were quarterback Aaron Murray, receiver Albert Wilson, running back Joe McKnight, cornerback Jamell Fleming, guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and defensive end Damion Square. Veteran safety Kurt Coleman was active for the first time, while defensive end Jaye Howard started in place of Mike DeVito.
Safety Eric Berry and running back Jamaal Charles each left the game in the first half because of what the team described as sprained ankles. Unlike DeVito and Derrick Johnson, who each suffered season-ending Achilles’ injuries last week, both walked off the field.
Knile Davis took Charles’ place and rushed 22 times for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Ron Parker took Berry’s place and had seven tackles.
“Everything moves really fast,” said Parker, who played safety in college but has primarily been a cornerback with the Chiefs. “At safety, you have to sit back there and try to watch how everything plays out until you can make your move, but it started to slow down a little bit out there (by the end of the game).”
Tight end Demetrius Harris made his first career NFL catch, a 10-yard gain in the fourth quarter. Harris, a former power forward at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, spent all of last season on the practice squad.
▪ Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 41 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the league.
| Terez A. Paylor, firstname.lastname@example.org