Arrowhead Report: Wednesday, Sept. 8th

Posted Sep 8, 2010

Ryan O'Callaghan returns to practice

Outside of OLB Cameron Sheffield, who suffered a neck injury August 27th vs. Philadelphia, all members of the Chiefs 53-man roster participated in Wednesday’s practice. That means that right tackle Ryan O’Callaghan returned to work this afternoon for the first time since suffering injury over two weeks ago.

For what it’s worth, Barry Richardson ran with the first-team during pre-practice segments that were open to the media.

Urban’s Official Injury

A lot of fans have inquired as to the specific injury that has shelved WR Jerheme Urban for all of 2010. When his name surfaced on the injured reserve list along with Kansas City’s final cut-down list, many fans were taken aback.

Mike Forman of the Voctoria Advocate reported earlier this week that Urban tore the flexor tendon in his ring finger on his right hand during Thursday night’s preseason game against Green Bay. Urban was slated to undergo surgery yesterday to repair the tendon and rehabilitation is estimated to take up to 12 weeks.

Urban was wearing a cast on his right hand at the Arrowhead Training Facility on Monday afternoon.  

Tailgate with Eddie

Prior to the Monday Night Football Game, former Chiefs WR Eddie Kennison and his wife Shimika are holding a tailgate party to benefit Kennison’s Quick Start Foundation!

The party well be held in Parking Lot D-4 and is open to the entire community. Kennison will be signing autographs, taking photos and chatting with Chiefs fans. The free tailgate party, which will begin at 5 p.m., will feature free Glace’ ice cream and other treats from Christopher Elbow, artisanal chocolatier.

Kennison started The Quick Start Foundation in 2003 after Shimika was diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease can affect the joints and the major organs of the body including the heart, lungs, kidneys and brain. The Kennisons formed the foundation to raise funds for research for a Lupus cure and to provide support for families who are dealing with the disease. Through the foundation, the Kennisons also provide scholarships to area high school seniors who want to continue their education.

Being a Pro

At the end of the day, somebody has to start.

One of the more memorable and high-profile training camp battles in recent Chiefs history has “ended” with Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher sitting atop the depth chart at inside linebacker over Demorrio Williams and Corey Mays to start the season; though the term “ended” should be used loosely.

“It’s never about yourself,” Johnson said of drawing the opening night start. “We went all out and I went into it trying to win the job. But this is just the start of it. It all starts on Monday night in helping the Chiefs win.”

Helping the Chiefs win is what it’s all about, and the way that Williams was rushing the passer this preseason, it won’t come as any surprise if Williams is on the field for a hefty number of snaps vs. San Diego. He showed a new wrinkle to his game vs. Green Bay when he put his hand in the dirt as a sub-package rusher.

“I’m a football player,” Williams said. “I’m not a starting defensive end, but I go out there and make sacks. It is what it is and when it’s my chance to play linebacker, I’m going to play linebacker. When it’s my chance to rush the passer, I’m going to rush the passer; whatever I have to do to contribute to the Chiefs to help them win.”

Head Coach Todd Haley continues to downplay the Chiefs current depth chart, focusing instead on the fact that the team needs all its active players to make gameday successful. Some of that will include Chiefs starters playing on special teams. On Wednesday, Haley said that he wants the term “starter” to be removed from the vocabulary.

“I’m trying to take anything like ‘ones’ and ‘twos’ out of the vocabulary,” Haley said.  “That’s just the way that I think if the more of our guys can think, the better for us.”

Though being labeled a starter is something that players take pride in, Haley’s message seems to be reaching the locker room.

“(Starting) doesn’t mean anything right now,” Belcher said.

Niswanger New Swing?

Heading into training camp, Rudy Niswanger was viewed exclusively as a center. And why not? Niswanger has made all of his 31 career starts at that position.

But as training camp charged forward and injuries began to deplete the depth on Kansas City’s offensive line for a few practice sessions, Niswanger got in some time at guard. With Casey Wiegmann currently holding the first-team duties at center, could Niswanger be a candidate to fill the role as that ever-important swing player off the bench?

“We have a bunch of guys up front that have some versatility,” Haley said. “I think that is a good thing for you and I’ve touched on Rudy’s new known versatility a little bit. I think that’s good and that’s going to be (a part of developing who’s active on gameday).”

Most tend to forget that Niswanger actually played his first games as a Chief at guard. Niswanger saw action in five games as a reserve guard as a rookie in 2007. He also played all five offensive line positions during his time at LSU. Some believe that Niswanger could also fill in at tackle in a pinch if need-be.

Ironically, the last time that Niswanger didn't play center for the Chiefs was when the position was being occupied by Wiegmann. Soren Petro talked more about Niswanger's versatility on today's Red Zone.

Two QBs for Now

The Chiefs are sporting a new look at the quarterback position with just two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Though Tyler Palko is technically the third quarterback, a roster move promoting him from the practice would have to be made in order to make Palko eligible for gameday.

“This is the direction that we’ve decided to go and it’s definitely not without risk,” Haley said. “But neither are any of the other decisions that we’ve made or will have to make. You just try and make the best decision for your football team and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Carrying only two quarterbacks on the active roster something that’s new to Haley. Arizona carried two quarterbacks to begin the 2007 season as well (Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart).

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