A year after losing Eric Berry for the season in Week 1, the Chiefs will likely have to operate without another safety starter this season. Previously set to miss at least the first part of the regular season, it now appears Daniel Sorensen will be on the shelf longer.
Sorensen has no timetable for a return after undergoing surgery to repair a tibial plateau fracture, Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said (via Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star, Twitter links). Sorensen also has MCL damage, per Pryor.
Although Sorensen has yet to be placed on IR, the Chiefs know firsthand the effects this injury can have. During a game against the Texans last season, the Chiefs saw J.J. Watt leave with a tibial plateau fracture. He was almost immediately ruled out for the season.
The Chiefs were looking to Sorensen, a contributor on the past four Kansas City defenses and Berry’s replacement throughout last season, to take over as a starter for Ron Parker. Kansas City released Parker in March. K.C. selected Texas A&M’s Armani Watts in the first round to bolster their safety situation in a defense-heavy draft for the team, but 2016 fourth-rounder Eric Murray may loom as the top replacement option. He played in almost 40 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps last season. The Chiefs also signed former Steeler Robert Golden this offseason.
If the Chiefs don’t view their internal options as ready for a full-time role, they could look to free agency. Eric Reid remains unsigned. So does Tyvon Branch, who used a 2015 season in Kansas City to rebuild his stock. Recent Chiefs cog Steven Terrell signed with the Titans on Friday. Former Chief Quintin Demps is also available, as is ex-Bronco T.J. Ward and longtime Steelers starter Mike Mitchell.
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