KANSAS CITY, Mo. — NFL players carry a reputation for toughness, but Chiefs offensive lineman Jordan Devey burnished his ironman credentials on Sunday, gutting through a torn pectoral muscle for most of the game in protecting his quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
“It's unreal,” Mahomes said Wednesday when asked the toughness demonstrated by Devey. “I actually saw when he did it and I looked at him and said, 'Are you good?' And he was like, 'I'm good to go,” and I was like, all right, let's go. He played the whole game and fought through. They have some dudes in the middle too. He fought his tail off and played a really good game with basically one arm.”
The injury appeared to occur late in the first quarter on a second-and-15 play from the Bengals' 33-yard line. Devey put a low block on linebacker Vontaze Burfict and landed awkwardly on his right shoulder as the the bottom of Burfict's cleat seem to drag on his arm.
Devey headed to the sideline after the drive, where the Chiefs medical staff and head athletic trainer Rick Burkholder examined him.
“He had a big laceration and pretty significant cleat mark on his arm,” Burkholder said. “He felt like he could play, we felt like he could play and he came in after the game, we tested him again and then we decided to get an MRI because things didn't add up.”
The MRI revealed a torn right pectoralis major muscle tear, which requires season-ending surgery. Team orthopedist Dr. Paul Schroeppel will perform the repair Thursday at the University of Kansas Health System at Indian Creek campus.
Devey's injury leaves the Chiefs with a bench short on experience. Starting center Mitch Morse remains in the league's concussion protocol and did not practice on Wednesday. The club signed veteran free agent Jeff Allen last week, and promoted rookie lineman Jimmy Murray from the practice squad with. The teams also carries center Austin Reiter, and the Chiefs could move left guard Cam Erving to center and fill in with Allen at guard.
Head coach Andy Reid remain noncommittal on the team's plans Wednesday.
“Austin's here and he's got experience, so he could step in and play if needed,” Reid said. “Jeff Allen could play if needed. And (offensive line coach) Andy Heck does a great job of rotating those guys during practice now and OTAs and during training camp. Everybody can work into all the positions. We don't get concerned about, we try to move forward and if you can go, you can go, and if you can't, you can't, and we move on.”
Linebacker Terrance Smith also left Sunday's game with an injury. He suffered a torn ACL in a non-contact situation during kickoff coverage, Burkholder said.
“He also some involvement on the lateral and posterior portion of that knee,” Burkholder said. “Right now he's working on swelling and range of motion and him and his agent and our medical staff are working through on who will operate on him, but he'll need to be surgically repaired. With those ACLs, it's an extended period of time for recovery.”
The Chiefs placed Smith on injured reserve Tuesday, effectively ending his season. Third-round draft pick Dorian O'Daniel expects to pick up most of the slack as a nickel and dime linebacker in substitution packages. Safety Daniel Sorensen may also share that load when he he returns from injured reserve as expected in the next few weeks.