Another day passed for the Chiefs without their top cornerback, Brandon Flowers, on the practice field. But this one was more ominous than the rest.
Flowers was not with the Chiefs as they practiced Tuesday afternoon. He was visiting with doctors for further evaluation of an injury coach Romeo Crennel has called a bruised heel.
That’s in contrast to the first 13 days after Flowers’ injury. Flowers had been with the Chiefs each day at practice, sometimes dressed in full practice gear as if he was going to give it a go. But he never did.
The delay is becoming increasingly frustrating for Crennel, who initially believed Flowers would be back and practicing by now. Flowers’ absence has been long enough now to threaten his ability to be adequately prepared for the season opener on Sept. 9 against Atlanta at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Any time you’re not able to practice, your timing, your recognition of routes, your condition is not what it needs to be,” Crennel said. “We’d like to get him out there so that those things can get into game shape. That’s what we need him to be. We need him to be in game shape. When that first game comes, they don’t care what kind of problems you might have had or anything like that. If you’re on the field, you’re expected to produce. So we’ve got to get him on the field and get sharp so he can perform at a high level.”
Flowers was injured in a night practice on July 31 when the Chiefs worked on the stadium field at Missouri Western. The Chiefs at the time thought his return was imminent.
His spot in the starting lineup has been taken by second-year cornerback Jalil Brown.
Crennel stopped just short of ruling Flowers out for the preseason game Saturday night when the Chiefs play against the Rams in St. Louis.
“Tomorrow, if he doesn’t do anything then you can probably rule him out,” Crennel said. “If you don’t practice, it’s hard to play in the game. At that time, you might be exposing him to more injury risk.”