ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen underwent surgery for break in his left shin bone that will keep him off the field for at least weeks, according to the team's head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder.
“Dan hurt his left knee at practice earlier in the week,” Burkholder said. “He has what's called a tibial plateau fracture. It's his tibia, which is your shin bone, it has a fracture in there.”
A tibial plateau fracture involves a break of upper shinbone that involves the knee joint. Sorensen also sustained a injury to his medial collateral ligament and a meniscus tear in the left knee.
Head coach Andy Reid said Sorensen suffered what he called a “freak” injury during a special teams practice on Monday.
“One of the guys fell on his leg,” Reid said.
It's the same type of injury that Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt suffered last season in Week 5 against the Chiefs. That injury ended Watt's season.
Sorensen underwent surgery at the University of Kansas Health systems. Surgeons John Sojka and Paul Schroeppel performed the procedure.
Eric Murray stepped into Sorensen's starting role with the first-team defense during Saturday's practice. He worked alongside starting strong safety Eric Berry. The team's depth at safety is challenged right now with Leon McQuay out as well with a hamstring injury.
"We have some good young guys that we feel pretty comfortable about at that position," Reid said. "McQuay really was coming on before he got banged up there so we feel pretty good at that spot."
Rookie Armani Watts led the Chiefs with 49 defensive snaps played during Thursday's preseason opener against the Houston Texans. But Reid said Watts still needs more seasoning.
"I thought it was an up-and-down performance," Reid said of Watt's play Thursday night. "There was some good things then some things where he just needs to see it so we can work to drive it."
Sorensen expects to miss at least the first few weeks of the regular season, but how much more time he misses remains unknown. Burkholder said with a broken bone the team will wait six weeks to re-exam Sorensen's left knee and determine the next step.
“There's no timeframe other than we're going to re-exam Danny at six weeks,” Burkholder said. “He'll be up here today starting his formal rehab with us.