KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe has a concussion and linebacker Tamba Hali has a swollen knee, and both have been ruled out for today’s game at San Diego.
The Chiefs are expected to rest most of their starters anyway against the Chargers. Kansas City is already assured the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs.
The bigger question is whether Bowe and Hali will be ready for the Chiefs’ wild-card playoff game the following weekend. Bowe sustained a concussion when he was hit in the neck area by LaRon Landry in last week’s 23-7 loss to Indianapolis; Hali hurt his knee in the same game.
There’s a possibility the Chiefs could face the Colts again in the playoffs.
“I’m just glad that we were on top of it,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said of Bowe’s concussion. “That’s the main thing. I don’t care about anything else but getting him right. I just want to make sure he’s OK.”
When pressed about having Bowe ready in time for the playoffs, Reid responded: “Listen, I’m hoping he’s right. Let’s make sure he’s right.”
Bowe had had a disappointing first season since signing a $56 million, five-year contract in the offseason. He has just 57 catches for 693 yards and five touchdowns, each of those totals his fewest in any season in which he’s made more than 12 starts.
Bowe also became a distraction the week before a loss to Denver when he was pulled over for speeding and arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession. He’s due in court next month.
Reid said that Bowe practiced Tuesday, took Wednesday off and didn’t feel right on Thursday. Trainer Rick Burkholder and the team’s doctors examined him. Bowe then began going through the proscribed concussion protocol.
“We’ll see how he does,” Reid said, “but for this game he’s out.”
Reid said that Hali is “making progress” after he came out of the Colts game with swelling in his knee, but with little to play for against San Diego, the prudent decision was to rest him and make sure he’s available for the playoffs.
Hali missed the second half against the Chargers last month with a sprained ankle.
“Tamba is listed as out for this game. He’s got a swollen knee,” Reid said Friday. “He is making progress, so that’s a good thing. Everybody else practiced today.”
That includes linebacker Justin Houston and left tackle Branden Albert.
Even though the Chiefs are expected to rest most of their starters against the Chargers, Houston and Albert have missed several games with injuries and could benefit from shaking off some rust before the playoffs. Both are listed as probable for San Diego.
Houston has been out with a dislocated right elbow and Albert a hyperextended left knee.
“I’m recovered, feeling good and ready to help this team win,” Albert said. “I’m preparing like I’m going to play. That’s the goal, to help this team win, next week, this week, whatever.”
Defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said Thursday that Houston, who had 11 sacks in 11 games before getting hurt, appears to be “pretty confident” that he’s ready to go.
“That’s a big part of any injury, the player once he’s cleared, he has to feel good, too,” Sutton said. “He’s practiced really hard. I think obviously he’s really close.”
When asked whether it makes sense for Houston to get some snaps before the start of the playoffs, Sutton said: “I think it would be great if he could, but I wouldn’t lose a lot of sleep if he didn’t. He’s a veteran player who’s played a lot of snaps, so it’s not a huge thing.”