Chiefs LB Ben Niemann left in the 1st half of Sunday's win over the Falcons with a hamstring injury. With Anthony Hitchens (COVID list) and Damien Wilson (knee) already inactive, that left Darius Harris and Willie Gay Jr. to lead the LB corps in playing time. Harris edged Gay by 5 snaps, but Gay posted a team-high 9 tackles (7 solo). Kansas City clinched the AFC's top playoff seed with the win, so a meaningless Week 17 would seem like the perfect spot to give the 2nd-round rookie another start and a long look -- especially with other LBs nursing injuries. We'll see how this week unfolds, though.
Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens put in full practices Tuesday and Wednesday, and the team left him off the final injury reports. He should be set to return Thursday night against the Broncos from the groin injury that cost him Week 6. That will push Ben Niemann back to a small role. He played just 13, 15 and 13 snaps the 3 games before Hitchens left early in Week 5. The Chiefs will miss CB Kendall Fuller (thumb) and DT Chris Jones (groin) against Denver, however. CB Bashaud Breeland is questionable for the game despite not having an injury. He did not travel with the team, but the Broncos have so far given no details on the corner's situation.