KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The bench along the Chiefs sideline became a lonely place during the club's 30-14 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars with linebacker Justin Houston among four players exiting with injuries and two players receiving disqualifications from the game.
The most significant injury belongs to right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who went down with a left knee injury late in the fourth quarter. A Jacksonville player fell on his left knee from behind. Duvernay-Tardif suffered a fractured fibula, but head coach Andy Reid hopes he can return later this season.
“(It's) a non-weight bearing bone that's going to take a little bit of time but not too long,” Reid said. “He won't be done for the year, which is a positive.”
Houston left the game in the first half with a hamstring injury. The club initially ruled him questionable to return before downgrading him to out. Reid didn't offer any timetable on Houston's expected recovery.
Safety Eric Murray also exited the game in the first half with what the team termed a lower left injury. His backup, rookie Armani Watts, left the game with a groin injury shortly afterwards. Watts aggravated an injury he sustain in practice on Thursday; he entered Sunday's game as questionable.
Those weren't the only players the Chiefs lost on Sunday. Both linebacker Dee Ford and defensive end Chris Jones received disqualifications in the game. Ford picked up two personnel conduct fouls in the game triggering his ejection. Jones picked up an unnecessary roughness penalty in the third quarter. That triggered an official replay review, which determined Jones committed a non-football act – specifically, throwing a punch at a Jacksonville player at the end of the play.
The injuries at safety seriously tested the team's depth in the secondary. Jordan Lucas, acquired in a trade from Miami just prior to the start of the season, stepped in for Murray and Watts and delivered his first career interception.
“(Lucas) steps in, he's been playing special teams for us,” Reid said. “He steps in and gets an interception, which is a great deal.”
The Chiefs have been without expected starting safeties Eric Berry and Daniel Sorensen for the first five games of the season. Lucas finished the game alongside Ron Parker in the backend of the secondary. Neither player appeared on the team's roster until after the club's final preseason game.
“Our safeties, I'm not sure you want to play safety for us,” Reid said. “It's a rough position right now. We're down to about our sixth safety.”
The Chiefs signed free agent safety Josh Shaw on Tuesday to add additional depth at safety. He was not active on Sunday, however.