The Chiefs had a big Sunday, picking up a first-round bye in the playoffs thanks to their win over the Chargers and the Dolphins’ upset of the Patriots. Unfortunately they didn’t escape Week 17 unscathed, as starting safety Juan Thornhill went down with a knee injury that was later revealed to be a torn ACL, per Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Needless to say, the injury will keep Thornhill out of the playoffs. The Chiefs drafted Thornhill in the second round back in April, and he started all 16 regular season games for them. The rookie was a huge part of the defense, playing an every-snap role. Kansas City’s pass defense has quietly been playing really well this season, and Thornhill had formed a great safety duo with veteran Tyrann Mathieu.
Thornhill will finish his first season as a pro with 59 tackles and three interceptions. It’s a big blow as the Chiefs gear up for their playoff run. The Virginia product’s absence will leave a huge hole in a defense that had been peaking recently.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.