KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs defensive end Breeland Speaks will undergo surgery on his right knee, accordingto Rick Burkholder, the club's vice president of sports medicine and performance.
Speaks suffered an MCL sprain and meniscus damage in his knee, Burkholder said. He will undergo surgery on Tuesday in Houston by orthopedic surgery Walter Lowe, the medial director and head team physician for the Houston Texans.
Speaks suffered the injury in the team's second preseason game at Pittsburgh Aug. 17. Head coach Andy Reid said last week said the club's medical staff continued evaluating Speaks' injury.
“We're having him meet with some doctors here, just checking that thing out and kind of letting it calm down and see where we're at,” Reid said on Thursday.
The team didn't announce an immediate roster move regarding Speaks. If the club hopes he can return during the regular season, Speaks must start the year on the 53-man roster before a possible move to injured reserve. If Speaks goes to injured reserve now, it would end his 2018 season.
Defensive coordinator said Speaks started showing increased comfort in the team's new 4-3 defensive scheme while moving back to the line after spending last season as an outside linebacker.
“I thought he was doing a really good job on first and second down,” Spagnuolo said, “and then we started to move him inside on third down, which I think is a little natural for him in a passing situation.”
Speaks filled in with the first-team defense when injuries limited starters Frank Clark and Alex Okafor during training camp. He frequently paired with Tanoh Kpassagnon on the No. 2 defensive line. Another defensive end, Emmanuel Ogbah, also battled a back injury during camp.
Losing Speaks changes the roster picture a bit, Spagnuolo said.
“But Emmanuel, he battled an injury early, he's fighting his way back,” Spagnuolo said. “The other three guys have done a nice job, we just need to get some reps underneath everybody's belt and away we go. But we'll have to make up for it somehow.”