Chiefs running back Spencer Ware is expected to require season-ending surgery for a torn PCL and a damaged LCL, Kansas City head trainer Rick Burkholder told reporters, including B.J. Kissel of Chiefs.com (Twitter link) and Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).
Initial reports indicated Ware would only be sidelined for two-to-eight weeks, a timeline that would have allowed him to return during the 2017 campaign (the Chiefs would have had the option to designate Ware as an injured reserve/return player). Ware will get a second opinion on his health status, but the outlook isn’t positive.
Kansas City has the depth to withstand the loss of Ware, and rookie third-round selection Kareem Hunt will likely step into the starting lineup. Charcandrick West figures to serve as a reserve, while Chiefs head coach Andy Reid also said veteran back C.J. Spiller will likely be part of Kansas City’s roster (Twitter link via Paylor). If Kansas City searches for an external addition, free agents such as DeAngelo Williams, Rashad Jennings, and Ryan Mathews could come into play.
Ware, 25, has spent the past two seasons with the Chiefs, and was the club’s full-time starter for the 2016 season. Last year, he managed 4.3 yards per carry on 214 rushes and scored three times, adding 33 receptions, 447 yards, and two more touchdowns through the air. Ware is signed through 2018 as part of a three-year extension he signed prior to the 2016 campaign.