Chiefs

Chiefs coach Andy Reid again defends Eric Fisher

Jah Reid (right) started at right tackle in place of Eric Fisher on Sunday in Houston.
Jah Reid (right) started at right tackle in place of Eric Fisher on Sunday in Houston. deulitt@kcstar.com

Chiefs coach Andy Reid again said Monday that the decision to sit right tackle Eric Fisher for the season opener was his alone, and that Fisher did not ask out of the starting lineup.

“That’s an absolute no, he didn’t go to any coach,” Reid said, repeating what he said Sunday following a 27-20 victory at Houston.

Prior to Sunday’s game, a source told The Star that Fisher told the Chiefs late in the week that he wanted to opt out of starting at right tackle Sunday against the Texans because of concern about his left high ankle sprain.

Multiple sources say the Chiefs were upset with Fisher’s decision. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle also reported Sunday morning that Fisher “expressed concern about his high ankle sprain” to the team, which upset club officials.

Fisher, however, said after the game that he did not play Sunday because of a coaches decision, and on Monday, Reid again backed him up.

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid spoke on Tuesday about facing the Denver Broncos in the team's home opener (7:25 Thursday night on CBS). Video by David Eulitt, deulitt@kcstar.com

“I know things are out there, I think it’s ridiculous,” Reid said. “I was the one that watched him practice and I thought, listen, if I put him out there, I’ll be putting him in a terrible situation, the kid’s trying his tail off to make it, and it’s not going to work. So it was that simple.”

Following Sunday’s game, Reid was asked if Fisher said anything on Friday about his ankle hurting. Reid said he had and added that the team communicated with Fisher throughout the week about the injury, which kept him out of the Chiefs’ last three preseason games.

“Fish took limited reps in practice, he worked some scout team,” Reid said. “He was trying to push through the thing, and there was just no way it was going to work.

“I pulled (Fisher) out, put the other kid in, tried to get as many reps as we could with him (Friday) before it came time for the game, and went that direction.”

Fisher was active for Sunday’s game — he played six special-teams snaps on the field-goal protection unit and a single offensive snap when starting left tackle Donald Stephenson left because of a finger injury — but Jah Reid started in Fisher’s place at right tackle.

Jah Reid, 27, was signed as a free agent last weekend after being released by the Baltimore Ravens but had been working primarily at right tackle in practice.

“He did good, he did a respectable job,” Andy Reid said. “I thought the whole group did. I thought there was good communication and good work with all of them.”

When asked if he sensed Fisher would be ready to play in the Chiefs’ Thursday night home game against the Broncos, Reid said he was not sure because of the uncertain nature of high ankle sprains.

“These things, they’re nagging, so everyone’s different,” Reid said. “I’m just going to play it by ear and see how things roll here. Until he can push off and I feel he can do that, I can’t put him out there at all.”

Reid was then asked if the starting right tackle job is Fisher’s when he is healthy enough to play.

“Yeah, we’ll see on all that, that’s how this rolls,” Reid said. “I’m hoping he can get back out there.”

To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to tpaylor@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @TerezPaylor. Tap here to download the new Red Zone Extra app for iOS and Android devices.

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