Chiefs eye preseason opener

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Chiefs wrapped up an 11th day of practice Monday before taking the next two days off ahead of Thursday night’s preseason opener.

Coach Andy Reid said the team went through some situations, which included four-minute work, for the matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

While Reid didn’t specify playing time for the entire roster, he touched on one position during his post-practice media session.

“The quarterbacks will each take a quarter and then we’ll work from there,” Reid said. “That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I haven’t done any of the other players so you don’t need to worry about asking them about that. That’s what we’ll look at with the quarterbacks and try to match it up according to that.”

How the rotation works among backups Chase Daniel, Tyler Bray and Aaron Murray remains to be seen, but Smith will likely get the first quarter.

Most NFL teams often limit starters to playing a series or two in the first quarter of preseason action. It appears, however, the Chiefs quarterbacks will see plenty of action.

Smith didn’t appear surprised by Reid’s plan.

“That was the way last year,” Smith said. “It is kind of our deal going into it.”

July 26, 2014; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs rookie safety Daniel Sorensen (49) warms up on Day Three of training camp. Credit: Matt Derrick,
July 26, 2014; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs rookie safety Daniel Sorensen (49) warms up on Day Three of training camp. Credit: Matt Derrick,

Sorensen shines 

Rookie safety Daniel Sorensen, an undrafted free agent signing out of Brigham Young University, was the defensive star of Monday’s practice with tremendous ball-hawking skills on three separate occasions.

The first came during 11-on-11 drills on an interception off quarterback Tyler Bray, who tried to float a pass to wide receiver Frankie Hammond near the left sideline. Sorensen jumped the route for the pick.

The second play also victimized Bray during 7-on-7 drills. Sorensen knocked the ball away from a wide receiver in the middle of the field.

Sorensen then notched his second interception of the day during 7-on-7 drills when he picked off quarterback Chase Daniel in the middle of the field.

Daniel tried to hit tight end Demetrius Harris, but Sorensen stepped in front of the Harris for the pick.

Sorensen’s effort didn’t go unnoticed after practice.

“He did have a good day today,” Reid said. “He had a lot of breakups and a pick or two. He’s playing good football; he’s a good special teams player also, which is important in a backup safety role. He’s making progress as we go.” 

DeVito leaves practice 

Starting defensive end Mike DeVito left Monday’s practice with what Reid called a hand injury.

“We’re getting x-rays taken of his hand,” Reid said, “and we’ll let you know what happens there.”

DeVito was observed looking and flexing his left hand as he left the field. He walked up the hill with a trainer.

Not participating

Wide receivers Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and Mark Harrison (hamstring), linebacker Dezman Moses (elbow) and defensive end Kyle Love (ankle) did not practice Monday.

Hemingway hasn’t practiced since July 26.

Center Eric Kush missed a second straight day for personal reason. He missed Sunday’s practice for the birth of his son.

Defensive end Mike Catapano missed a sixth straight day of practice with an illness.

“Mike has a virus,” Reid said. “He’s sick and it seems like he’s been gone a long time and it really has been. We’re trying to get the virus to run its course and get out of him.”

Return to action

Running back Joe McKnight (knee) put in his first practice since starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Also practicing after missing time are wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (hamstring), defensive lineman Jermelle Cudjo (hamstring) and linebacker Joe Mays, who sat out Sunday while the team practiced on indoor turf.

Jenkins previously missed three days.

Trying out works

The Chiefs have three players from offseason tryouts in training camp: Offensive tackle Ryan McKee, wide receiver Mark Harrison and defensive lineman Jarius Campbell.

Campbell, whom the Chiefs signed Sunday, and McKee were tryout players during May’s rookie minicamp. Harrison tried out during June’s mndatory minicamp.

Day 11 practice observations

• One of the more entertaining drills to watch on a daily basis is one-on-one matchups featuring running backs and tight ends against linebackers in pass coverage. Of course, linebackers are at a disadvantage when squaring off against running back Jamaal Charles. But they now have to account for rookie running back De’Anthony Thomas, who made Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Johnson look silly on a pass route. Thomas came off the line of scrimmage, made a move to go left before wiggling to break right. The wiggle move left Johnson, whose momentum carried him the other direction.

• The Chiefs continue to tinker with outside linebackers Tamba Hali, Justin Houston and Dee Ford on the field at the same time. The defense uses one down lineman, defensive tackle Dontari Poe, for this formation.

• Backup guard Ricky Henry saw some snaps at right guard with the with the first-team offense during 9-on-9 drills.

• Quarterback Alex Smith unleashed the prettiest pass of the day by hitting wide receiver Kyle Williams deep down the field on a post route. Williams split cornerback Chris Owens and free safety Husain Abdullah for what appeared to be a 40-yard touchdown play.

• Linebacker James-Michael Johnson briefly left the practice field by jogging to the medical tent. He received attention from a trainer, who stretched out his legs, before returning to the sidelines with his helmet in his right hand.