The injuries are beginning to pile up for the Chiefs.
The latest: wide receiver and return specialist De’Anthony Thomas, who re-fractured his right tibia in what Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder called a “freak accident” in practice on Thursday, when his leg was stepped on from behind.
Thomas originally fractured his leg while returning a punt in the 2017 regular-season finale at Denver and underwent emergency surgery there the next day.
Thomas had a rod inserted into his leg.
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“The rod is still in place,” Burkholder said. “It didn’t bend. But he did have a fracture around the old fracture site … all indications are that he won’t need anything done with the rod, won’t need surgery and he’ll heal up on his own.
“But he’ll need some time to heal up.”
Thomas, a fifth-year pro from Oregon, signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs after last season.
He worked hard in the offseason to prepare for 2018 and contributed immediately in the Chiefs’ opening game with a touchdown reception against the Los Angeles Chargers.
For the season, Thomas had three receptions for 29 yards. He also has returned a punt for 48 yards and three kickoffs for a 19.3-yard average.
“You’re sad for the kid, but he’s a tough little nut: he’ll come back,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “You hate to see that happen for as hard as he’s worked to come back.
“We’ll have guys step in and pick up the slack.”
Reid said he wasn’t sure if the Chiefs will make a roster move to add depth at Thomas’ position.
“If we make a move we make a move, but if we don’t we’ll be OK,” Reid said.
The Chiefs also will be without guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, who suffered an ankle and leg injury against Jacksonville last week, and safety Eric Murray, also out with an ankle injury.
Listed as doubtful for the Sunday’s game at New England are outside linebacker Justin Houston and safety Eric Berry. Berry hasn’t played at all this season.