KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs head to Carolina to take on the Panthers without wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and defensive lineman Jaye Howard, while likely delaying the return of linebacker Justin Houston at least one more week.
Machin and Howard both continue battling nagging injuries. Maclin test his going injury for just two plays last week against Jacksonville before leaving the game. Howard played more than half the team’s defensive snaps last week, but did not practice the last three days.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Houston practiced well and suffered not setbacks.
“He moved around good,” Reid said. “I wanted to have a chance just to talk with him before we put anything down.”
Howard’s absence means more playing time for defensive linemen Kendall Reyes and Rakeem Nunez-Roches.
“Reyes has got a lot of snap over the years,” Reid said. “We played against, we respected him when he as at San Diego, and we’re glad to have him onboard here.”
Tyreek Hill likely gains the most additional looks at wide receiver with Maclin out.
It also means an increase role for Albert Wilson. He posted on of his best game of the season last week with three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown after Maclin exited the game. But the third-year receiver believes himself and the offense capable of more than they showed last week against Jacksonville.
“I feel like we could done a lot of little things that we usually do,” Wilson said. “We’ve got a great week of preparation, we’re going to stick to our game plan, stick our scheme and compete.
The Chiefs offense loses Maclin but gains quarterback Alex Smith and Spencer Ware.
“Spence has done good, no repercussions of the concussion and had a good week of practice,” Reid said.
The Panthers ruled out starting left tackle Michael Oher (concussion) along with backup safety Colin Jones (concussion). Rookie defensive tackle Vernon joined them as questionable, but the team expects him to play.
The team also listed starting center Ryan Kalil (shoulder) questionable, although he did not practice at all this week. Backup Gino Gradkowski (knee) practiced only on a limited basis Friday. If neither can play, offensive lineman Chris Scott steps into the role.
OUT: S Colin Jones and T Michael Oher
QUESTIONABLE: DT Vernon Butler, C Ryan Kalil, C Gino Gradkowski, LB Shaq Thompson and DT Kyle Love
Did not participate in practice: S Colin Jones (concussion), C Ryan Kalil (shoulder) and T Michael Oher (concussion)
Limited participation: DT Vernon Butler (ankle), C Gino Gradkowski (knee) and LB Shaq Thompson (knee)
Full participation: DT Kyle Love (knee) LB Jeremy Cash (illness) and RB Jonathan Stewart (rest)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
OUT: WR Jeremy Maclin, DL Jaye Howard and LB Justin Houston
DOUBTFUL: CB D.J. White
QUESTIONABLE: LB Derrick Johnson
Did not participate in practice: LB Tamba Hali (knee), DE Jaye Howard (hip) and WR Jeremy Maclin (groin)
Limited participation: LB Justin Houston (knee), LB Derrick Johnson (hamstring) and CB D.J. White (hand)
Full participation: QB Alex Smith (head/ear), RB Spencer Ware (concussion), WR Chris Conley (quad) and QB Nick Foles (elbow)
Matt Derrick is the lead beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and the Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.