Red Zone

Chiefs put Boss on IR; Flowers re-injures heel

The Chiefs placed tight end Kevin Boss on injured reserve on Wednesday and replaced him on the roster with linebacker Bryan Kehl, a fifth-year linebacker who formerly played for the St. Louis Rams.

Boss, who signed as a free agent this season from Oakland, suffered a concussion in the second game of the season at Buffalo and has missed the last two games. He caught three passes for 65 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass in the season opener against Atlanta.

Boss had a history of concussions during his six-year career, missing games in 2008 and 2010 with the New York Giants, and Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said doctors would not clear him to play for the rest of this season.

“Kevin was disappointed … we’re disappointed, because we thought he was a good addition to the team,” Crennel said. “We felt like he would be able to help us. He enjoys playing football, wants to play football, but with his situation, he won’t be able to play this year.”

Crennel said he was concerned Boss’ injury could be long-term when he was unable to return to action a week or two after the injury.

“Generally, they do those baseline tests and you’re able to make your comeback, you see improvement,” Crennel said. “When it took a little bit longer for him to show improvement, I thought there could be an issue and found out there was one.”

Kehl, a 6-2, 243-pounder, has played in 59 games with five starts in four seasons with the Rams (2010-11) and New York Giants (2008-10.) He went to camp with Washington this season and was released in the club’s final roster cutdown.

Flowers re-injures heel

Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers, who missed most of training camp and the season opener against Atlanta with a heel injury, missed practice on Wednesday with what the Chiefs called a heel injury.

Other Chiefs who did not practice on Wednesday included wide receiver Jon Baldwin (hamstring), linebacker Derrick Johnson (groin), defensive ends Ropati Pitoitua (elbow) and Glenn Dorsey (calf), running back Peyton Hillis (ankle) and cornerback Jalil Brown (hamstring).

Center Ryan Lilja (back) and safety Kendrick Lewis (shoulder) were limited.

The Ravens listed two players on their injury report, tackle Jah Reid (limited) and wide receiver Torrey Smith (ankle).

Ray Rice touts helmet

The injury to Boss underscored the use of a new style helmet, the XENITH helmet worn by Baltimore running back Ray Rice.

The helmet utilizes 15-18 shock absorbers that act as individual airbags for the head/brain, and adjusting the fit of the helmet by pulling on the chin strap prevents the helmet from flying off Rice’s head. Rice, a two-time Pro Bowler, credited his first year of wearing the XENITH helmet as a factor in his success because he feels safe from head injury issues.

“Concussions became the most-talked about issue in the game,” Rice said. “It’s not late hits, it’s not chop blocks, it’s concussions …. You can’t function without your brain not working right, so obviously the helmet I’m wearing … I’ve been taking the blunt of my hits, and they’ve been absorbing them pretty well.

“They say a lot of concussions come from hits to the side of the head, to the jaw area … it’s got a jaw pad so it keeps all the hits from … one area … the shock goes throughout the whole helmet. I’m not the kind of guy who goes in there head-first, and I try to protect myself as much as I can, but anytime you can try to prevent something with the helmet you wear, it’s amazing.”

Rice said several of his teammates are using the XENITH helmet, as well as a significant number of players at the NCAA Division I level.

Charles vs. Rice

The Chiefs-Ravens game on Sunday will feature the NFL’s top two players in yards from scrimmage this season.

The Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles is averaging 128.0 yards from scrimmage — 103.8 yards rushing and 24.3 yards receiving. The Ravens’ Rice is second at 122.8 — 79.2 rushing, 43.5 receiving.

Rice led the NFL in yards from scrimmage last season with 2,068 yards on 1,364 rushing and 704 yards receiving. He scored 15 touchdowns last year, 12 rushing and three receiving.