Red Zone

Lilja injury shuffles offensive line

Center Ryan Lilja, who was slated to start at right guard in place of Jon Asamoah (thumb surgery), was declared inactive for today’s game against Cincinnati because of a knee injury.

Consequently, the Chiefs offensive line will line up this way: Russ Hochstein will start at center; Eric Winston will move from right tackle to right guard; and rookie Donald Stephenson will make his first NFL start at right tackle. Stephenson has started a game as an extra blocking tight end.

The left side will remain intact with tackle Branden Albert and rookie guard Jeff Allen.

So the line today will feature two rookies in Allen, a second-round draft pick; and Stephenson, a third-round pick, in addition to Hochstein, a 10-year veteran who was signed in late September after original starting center Rodney Hudson suffered a broken leg.

Incidentally, the Bengals rank fourth in the NFL with 26 sacks.