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Struggling Chiefs' injuries woes keeping piling up

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Romeo Crennel shuffled into the small interview room, settled into a chair behind a table holding a couple of microphones, and launched into what's become his usual routine.

``All right,'' Crennel said, ``I'm going to start with our injuries.''

And with that, Crennel started the roll call.

Peyton Hillis was out with an ankle injury. Glenn Dorsey a calf injury. Jon Baldwin, Jalil Brown and Devon Wylie with hamstring troubles. Derrick Johnson a sore groin, Ropati Pitoitua an elbow injury, Kendrick Lewis an ailing shoulder and Ryan Lilja a bad back.

Just what the Chiefs (1-3) don't need heading into Sunday's game against Baltimore.

``We've got a good football team coming into town,'' Crennel said Thursday, ``I think we're probably the only ones who think we've got a chance. So we're going to work our preparation and continue our preparation to try to get it ready to play.''

The only problem is that it's hard to prepare when there are eight guys missing from practice, and a couple more who are limited. It reached the point this week that Crennel had to ponder throwing practice squad defensive end Jerome Long in with the starters for lack of able bodies.

The most loathed three letters in Kansas City these days? DNP, as in, did not participate.

``The guys who can practice will practice and the ones who are limited will be limited and we'll go from there,'' said Crennel, who also had to put tight end Kevin Boss - one of the Chiefs' main offseason acquisitions - on season-ending injured reserve this week with a head injury.

By comparison, the Ravens (3-1) had just two players on this week's injury report.

It's hard to decide which of the Chiefs' injuries are the most debilitating, which players the most difficult to replace. Six players on the report are starters, most of the rest of them key contributors, including Pitoitua, who started last Sunday's game in Dorsey's place.

Hillis hurt his ankle two weeks ago against New Orleans and hasn't practiced since, putting more of the load in the ground game on Jamaal Charles and Shaun Draughn.

Dorsey injured his left calf before last week's game against San Diego, the game in which Pitoitua got hurt. Johnson has been dealing with a number of bumps and bruises this season, but the Pro Bowl linebacker's latest appears to be the most severe.

``He'll be out there in practice,'' Crennel said, ``but I don't think he's going to do much.''

Not exactly encouraging, huh?

Baldwin hurt his hamstring in practice this week, and Crennel said it would be taped and he would give it a go in Thursday's workout. Baldwin has 10 catches for 148 yards this season.

Lewis hasn't played all year after hurting his shoulder in an exhibition game at St. Louis.

Brown struggled earlier this season with a groin injury, and now he's missing time because of a hamstring. His injury robs Kansas City of some valuable depth behind Brandon Flowers, the team's best cover cornerback, who aggravated a heel injury against San Diego that had already caused him to miss most of training camp and the start of the regular season.

``He had to come out for, I think, a couple series and then he came back in and finished up,'' Crennel said before Thursday's practice. ``He was out there (Tuesday) and started off and began to feel worse, so then we took him off and let him rehab.''

Crennel doesn't know for sure whether any of the injured Chiefs players will be around for Sunday's game against Baltimore, though it's a good bet that several will try to play.

One thing is certain: The Ravens aren't going to feel sorry for them.

``We cannot feel sorry for ourselves,'' Crennel said. ``Even though we don't like it, where we are, how we got where we are, we can't feel sorry for ourselves, that woe's-me syndrome. We have to get ourselves mentally ready, because we have a good football team coming in.''

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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