Chiefs continue tinkering offensive line

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With left tackle Eric Fisher (shoulder) limited, the Chiefs maintained different offensive line combinations Tuesday during the first day of the second set of organized team activities (OTAs).

June 3, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs coach Andy Reid and players leave the practice field at the conclusion of OTAs at the team’s training facility. Credit: Teope
June 3, 2014; Kansas City, MO; Chiefs coach Andy Reid and players leave the practice field at the conclusion of OTAs at the team’s training facility. Credit: Teope

Much like he did last week, Fisher participated in the early individual drills portion of OTAs before moving off the field to observe team-related 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 segments.

Starting right tackle Donald Stephenson moved to the left side, while J’Marcus Webb took Stephenson’s place on the right side. The rest of the first-team offensive line shaped out with left guard Jeff Allen, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Rishaw Johnson.

Throughout last week’s OTAs, the Chiefs alternated Jeff Linkenbach at right guard and right tackle. Webb also ran with the first-team unit at right tackle last week.

Expect the Chiefs to continue to experiment with offensive line combinations leading to training camp, as Fisher isn’t expected to participate in contact drills until the Chiefs report to St. Joseph, Mo.

Absent Pro Bowlers:

Outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers, both of whom missed last week’s OTAs, weren’t present when the Chiefs took the practice field.

The Chiefs continue the voluntary portion of OTAs this week through Thursday, followed by the final set of voluntary OTAs on June 10-13.

Houston and Flowers can choose not to attend those sessions, but are required to be present for the mandatory minicamp on June 17-19.

Injury updates:

Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and defensive tackle Risean Broussard (knee) were not present Tuesday.

Jenkins missed the final day of last week’s OTAs, but coach Andy Reid said then that Jenkins “should be good down the road.”

Broussard hasn’t participated in practices since injuring his knee on the first day of rookie minicamp.

Tight end Travis Kelce (knee) and wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee) were present, but didn’t participate. Both players continue to observe OTAs from the sidelines.

Also absent Tuesday were cornerback David Van Dyke and running back/specialist De’Anthony Thomas, who continues to miss OTAs due to Oregon’s academic quarter system. Thomas is expected to return for the final mandatory minicamp.

The Chiefs will likely update Van Dyke’s status at a later time.

OTA observations:

• Quarterback Alex Smith looked extremely comfortable throwing the deep ball during Tuesday’s OTA. He made two deep connections on well-placed balls, one a 25-yard pass to tight end Anthony Fasano on a corner route to beat strong safety Eric Berry, the other a beautiful 45-yard bomb to wide receiver Donnie Avery, who got behind cornerback Sean Smith.

• Wide receiver Donnie Avery also had another nice leaping catch over the middle of the field during 11-on-11.

• With outside linebacker Justin Houston missing, the Chiefs used Frank Zombo at Houston’s spot on the first 11-on-11 session, and then first-round pick Dee Ford in place of Zombo on the second 11-on-11.

• Cornerback Marcus Cooper continues to fill in at the left cornerback position in place of Brandon Flowers, with Chris Owens defending against the slot wide receiver.

• Speaking of the slot wide receiver, third-year pro Junior Hemingway continues to work out the slot with the first-team unit alongside Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery.

• Defensive lineman Vance Walker, who signed a three-year, $13 million free-agent deal on March 14, continues to run with the second- or third-team unit. Allen Bailey has run with the first-team defense in Tyson Jackson’s former spot during 11-on-11.

• Rookie kicker Cairo Santos, whom the Chiefs signed as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, has a strong leg. The ball seems to explode off his foot with a very noticeable “thump” noise on contact. This position will become interesting in training camp between Santos and Ryan Succop.

• Wide receiver Frankie Hammond turned in a strong performance Tuesday. He made numerous catches running short, intermediate and deep routes.

• Wide receiver Fred Williams made a spectacular one-handed catch on the sidelines on a pass from quarterback Tyler Bray.

• Cornerback Ron Parker intercepted an ill-advised underthrown pass by quarterback Chase Daniel.

• Quarterback Aaron Murray (knee), who missed two days of OTAs last week to attend the NFLPA Rookie Premiere, returned to the practice field. He continues to wear a brace on his left leg and didn’t appear to be limited. Murray took reps behind Tyler Bray, last season’s No. 3 quarterback.

• Tight end Sean McGrath, who shaved his beard during the offseason, is once again sporting full facial hair. “The beard is back,” McGrath said. “The fans like it. I figure if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”