KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Chiefs face the NFL’s top-passing offense on Sunday, and they will do so without two key members of their secondary with cornerback Rashad Fenton and safety Bryan Cook ruled out on Friday by head coach Andy Reid.
The club has the option of activating rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie from injured reserve but Reid say’s leaning against that move right now.
“I’d probably just rest him up this week,” Reid said of McDuffie, who practiced this week for the first time since sustaining a hamstring injury in Week 1 against Arizona. “He had a good week of practice but there’s a good chance we’ll rest him up.”
One bit of good news on the injury front for the Chiefs: kicker Harrison Butker, who has missed the last four games with a left ankle sprain, expects to handle kicking duties, Reid said. He was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Friday.
Right guard Trey Smith, who missed Monday night’s game with a pectoral injury, also expects to start after being a full participant this week.
With Fenton (hamstring) and Cook (concussion) out of action, rookie Joshua Williams will step into the starting lineup alongside L’Jarius Sneed and fellow rookie Jaylen Watson. Williams was pressed into action Monday night covering Las Vegas receiver Davante Adams on the Raiders’ final offensive play of the game, and Reid says he believes Williams is ready for a larger role.
“Special teams has helped him with the speed of the game and the angles you need to take and all those things,” Reid said. “Now it’s just a matter of getting in and playing and trusting your technique and fundamentals. I think he’s looking forward to it, he worked well this week.”
The absence of Fenton and Cook also likely means a larger role for backup safety Deon Bush as well as rookie cornerback Nazeeh Johnson, who has yet to play a snap on defense this season. The Chiefs also have the option of elevating from the practice squad cornerback Dicaprio Bootle and safety Zayne Anderson.
“They’ve got to step up and play and do their thing,” Reid said of the reserves in the secondary. “We have trust that they’ll do that, and it’s a great challenge.”
The club also listed defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton as out. Wharton suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Monday night and will miss the rest of the season but he has yet to be placed on injured reserve, which is why he remains on the injury report.
Chiefs injury report
OUT: CB Rashad Fenton, S Bryan Cook and DT Tershawn Wharton
Did not practice: S Bryan Cook (concussion), CB Rashad Fenton (hamstring) and DT Tershawn Wharton (knee)
Limited participation: K Harrison Butker (left ankle)
Full participation: TE Travis Kelce (hip/back), S Justin Reid (hand), LB Nick Bolton (quad), RG Trey Smith (pectoral), WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (quad/hamstring), DE Frank Clark (illness), WR Mecole Hardman (heel), DE Mike Danna (calf) and WR Skyy Moore (ankle)
Bills injury report
Out: WR Jake Kumerow
Questionable: DT Jordan Phillips
Did not practice: WR Jake Kumerow (ankle) and WR Stefon Diggs (vet rest)
Limited participation: CB Christian Benford (hand), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), TE Dawson Knox (foot/hamstring) and DT Jordan Phillips (hamstring)
Full participation: MLB Tremain Edmunds (hamstring), CB Kaiir Elam (foot), DE DaQuan Jones (hip), CB Cam Lewis (forearm), WR Isiah McKenzie (concussion), C Mitch Morse (elbow), DT Ed Oliver (ankle) and S Jordan Poyer (ribs)