KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Opportunity knocks for Chiefs second-year pro Dee Ford to make an impact with potential extended playing time against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Starting outside linebacker Tamba Hali is dealing with knee swelling and did not practice Friday and Thursday. The Chiefs officially list the veteran linebacker as questionable on the injury report.
Hali’s absence in practice opened the door for Ford to receive first-team repetitions as the Chiefs look to snap a four-game losing streak.
“Dee got the reps this week and did a nice job with them,” coach Andy Reid told reporters Friday. “He’s making progress.”
Ford, who is Hali’s primary backup, has five tackles (four solo) on the season and comes off a Week 5 where he totaled 29 of the Chiefs’ 78 defensive snaps.
“He’s been getting playing time,” Reid said of Ford, “so you know he’s doing OK.”
Ford’s outside speed could come in handy as the Chiefs front seven looks to contain Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has 59 yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries.
“We need all of them,” Reid said. “All those defensive ends in the rotation we have in our defensive scheme, you need those guys.”
BELIEF IN A COMEBACK
If there is a player who understands what Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is going through with an ACL tear, it would be Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who suffered an ACL injury late in the 2011 season.
“Man, it’s drastic,” Peterson said Wednesday during a conference call. “You know, it’s not what you look forward to dealing with. Mentally, it’s a struggle.”
Peterson has faith Charles will rebound, however.
“Knowing Jamaal, he’ll bounce back,” the Vikings star rusher said. “He’ll bounce back.”
Peterson said he hated to see injury, saying it “hurt me to the core” when Charles suffered the ACL in his right knee in Week 5 against the Chicago Bears.
Charles suffered an ACL injury in his left knee in 2011, and Peterson believes the experience of going through the recovery process will only help.
“He’s been through it before with the left knee and now he knows what to kind of expect doing the rehab and recovering from it, so that’s one positive,” Peterson said. “Me, personally, I’m going to make sure I reach out to him during the offseason because I know he’s back down in Texas and stuff, try and get him to come work out with my guy and, you know, to get him back to doing what he does best.”
Herbie Teope is the lead Chiefs beat writer for ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @HerbieTeope.