Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen will miss “the first part” of the regular season after he undergoes an impending knee surgery, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. Herbie Teope of NFL.com (Twitter link) was the first to report that Sorensen was dealing with a knee injury, and specified Sorensen did not tear his ACL.
Sorensen had been set to replace Ron Parker in Kansas City’s base defense. Parker, who was released by the Chiefs this spring, had played in at least 95% of the club’s defensive snaps in each of the past four seasons. Sorensen was to take those snaps opposite All-Pro Eric Berry, who is returning from a 2017 campaign which was lost to an ACL tear.
With Sorensen sidelined, Eric Murray will likely step into the Chiefs’ starting lineup. Murray, a 2016 fourth-round pick, saw a 39.8% playtime percentage last season, defensing five passes and posting one sack in the process. A Minnesota product, Murray will be backed up by a combination of Robert Golden, rookie fourth-rounder Armani Watts, and Leon McQuay.
If the Chiefs want to add a free agent to their safety mix, Steven Terrell is perhaps the likeliest option. Terrell, 27, spent the majority of the 2017 season in Kansas City. While he played mostly on special teams, Terrell did see 79 snaps on defense. He’d presumably offer a familiarity with the Chiefs’ scheme, which could prove important with the regular season looming.
If they don’t consider Terrell, the Chiefs could take advantage of a slow-developing free agent safety market to find a veteran on the cheap. Eric Reid is the best defensive back without a contract, while other available safeties include Lardarius Webb, Darius Butler, Mike Mitchell, T.J. Ward, Quintin Demps, and Tyvon Branch, the latter of whom played in Kansas City in 2015.
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