Arrowhead Report: Baldwin Out, Flowers Gametime Decision

Posted Sep 30, 2011

Preparations for Minnesota wrap up at Arrowhead Stadium

The medical evaluation of Brandon Flowers and Jon McGraw will continue through the weekend and into Sunday morning. Officially listed as “questionable” for this weekend’s game, both players will be gametime decisions against Minnesota.

Both Flowers and McGraw suffered injuries in the first half of last Sunday’s game in San Diego. Neither would return to action and each was a limited practice participant Friday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium.

“I was encouraged at least with (Flowers) being out there and actually moving around a little bit,” head coach Todd Haley said. “We’ll go right up until game time with him.

“I would expect with both of them it’ll be round the clock treatment up until game time to try to have them ready to go.”

Chiefs fans will also have to wait another week for the debut of first-round draft pick Jonathan Baldwin. The rookie practiced in a limited capacity Friday afternoon, but will miss his fourth straight game since suffering a thumb injury August 17th.

Chiefs Injury Report

WR Jonathan Baldwin – OUT (Thumb)

CB Brandon Flowers – QUESTIONABLE (Ankle)

S Jon McGraw – QUESTIONABLE (Shin)

DE Brandon Bair – PROBABLE (Illness)

Vikings Injury Report

RB Adrian Peterson – PROBABLE (Calf)

S Tyrell Johnson – PROBABLE (Hip)

TE Jim Kleinsasser – PROBABLE (Elbow)

CB Asher Allen – PROBABLE (Toe)

CB Chris Cook – PROBABLE (Groin)

DT Kevin Williams – PROBABLE (Foot)

LB E.J. Henderson – QUESTIONABLE (Knee)

S Jamarca Sanford – QUESTIONABLE (Thigh)

DJ’s Hands Remain Hot Topic

When Derrick Johnson is able to haul in an interception it’s often a beautiful sight. There were the pair of INT returns that went for touchdowns in the 2009 season finale at Denver and there was last year’s pick-six vs. Jacksonville.

He also had a 70-yard INT return in the 2009 season opener at Baltimore.

Johnson’s play-making ability is rare. Three of his seven career INTs have gone for touchdowns and he’s averaging 31 yards per INT return. The problem is that Johnson could have so many more. Dropped interception opportunities have mounted for the linebacker over the past few seasons and DJ picked up another drop last weekend in San Diego.

“There have been a couple of times he’s got his hands on balls where if he can catch those balls everybody says he’s doing pretty good,” defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. “But that’s the way this game is. We dropped them and we need to catch them. If we catch them it improves and it helps everybody.”

Johnson spent extra time this preseason working on catching drills after practice and has continued that emphasis throughout the recent practices.

“We did more ball drills with him and hopefully that will work,” Crennel said. “DJ has a knack for getting to where the ball is, but he doesn’t always catch them. Hopefully he can start to catch them and that would help this team if he can.”

Rallying Off Fourth and Inches

The Chiefs hope to carry the momentum of a gritty defensive effort against San Diego into this weekend’s matchup with the Vikings.

Kansas City’s defense held strong throughout a first half that saw the Chargers take 44 offensive snaps and hold the football for nearly 20 minutes. Despite gaining no offensive first downs and just 34 total yards, the Chiefs trailed only 10-0 at halftime thanks to a pair of San Diego turnovers.

With less than two minutes to play, the Chiefs defensive line saved its best for last and was able to stuff a QB Philip Rivers on a fourth-and-inches quarterback sneak to give the offense a chance to win or tie in the game’s closing moments.

It was the type of play Chiefs defenders hope will serve as an early-season turning point.

“We have to get stops like that and give our offense a chance,” NT Kelly Gregg said.”That was a big momentum booster. They had just a little ways to go and we stopped them. Hopefully we can string a bunch of plays like that together.”

“It was a rallying point when we made it because we were able to stop them and that was a good football team we stopped,” Crennel added. “That was a momentum kind of play that lifted everyone up on the team and hopefully that will carry forward into this week.

BCA Month Kicks Off

Players will break out pink shoes, hats, towels and gloves Sunday afternoon as the NFL kicks off its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign. Fans can purchase much of the special pink merchandise that the players and coaches wear at the Chiefs Team Store with a portion of the proceeds donated to support breast cancer patient care at The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

Pieces of the Chiefs game-worn breast cancer awareness gear will be auctioned off later this season at Arrowhead Stadium to raise money for the cause.

Pre-game festivities will feature a release of pink balloons in honor of those affected by breast cancer. Area breast cancer survivors will hold the flag on the field during the National Anthem participate in the honorary first pass and will serve as the honorary captain for the coin toss.

Fans will be greeted at the gates by volunteers and members of the Chiefs Women’s Organization (CWO), who will distribute pink Chiefs “Crucial Catch” wristbands. The wristbands can be worn to raise awareness of the importance of screening and early detection of breast cancer.

“I know my girls and wife were out there last year and had a great time with all the other Chiefs ladies kind of getting everybody going outside the stadium,” Haley said. “[It’s a] big day for a lot of women in this country, and I just think it’s terrific what the NFL has done to help football be a great thing for a lot of people that are affected by a terrible disease.”

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