Mitch Morse

Chiefs Place C Mitch Morse On IR

The Chiefs will have to make their playoff push without their starting center in the lineup. On Friday, the team announced that Morse is headed to injured reserve with a foot injury. Cornerback Keith Reaser has been promoted from the practice squad to take his place on the roster. Mitch Morse (vertical)

Without Morse, the Chiefs will be forced to put fourth-year pro Zach Fulton in the starting lineup. Swingman Cameron Erving will serve as Fulton’s primary backup.

Morse, 25, first suffered the injury in the Chiefs’ Week 2 game against the Eagles. He returned in late October, but the issue flared up again in the Chiefs’ recent loss to the Jets. Morse was carted off the field in that game and had to be held out of Sunday’s win over the Raiders.

The loss of Morse comes at a particularly bad time as the offensive line has to contend with the Chargers’ tenacious pass rush.

They’re playing very well right now,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this week (via the Chargers’ website). “Their pass rush is tremendous right now. It was good against us. Look at our third downs the last time we played them; they got after us. They’re playing at a very high level, and the secondary, they don’t do a lot but they do it very well. They have a great defensive coordinator. Gus does a great job there. They’re in good hands.”

The Chiefs have a 64% chance of winning the division, according to the playoff odds calculated by the New York Times. Of course, those odds decrease significantly if they lose on Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Hawks, 49ers, Chiefs, Broncos

Jimmy Graham isn’t a lock to be ready when the Seahawks face the Titans on Sunday after going down with an ankle injury, head coach Pete Carroll told reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Seattle has scored only 21 points through two games, and Graham has contributed to that offensive ineptitude by posting just four catches for nine total yards. If Graham is out next week, the Seahawks will turn to Luke Willson and Nick Vannett at tight end.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions, with a focus on injury news:

  • The 49ers will be without safety Eric Reid on Thursday night as he recovers from a PCL injury, and the 25-year-old defensive back will likely miss additional games, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters, including Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). Luckily, Reid won’t require surgery on his injury knee, limiting the period of his absence. Reid, who’s playing in his contract season, missed six games in 2016 following a biceps tear.
  • Center Mitch Morse suffered a foot sprain during Sunday’s Chiefs game, but an MRI revealed that he won’t require surgery, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Nevertheless, Morse will be sidelined for a “few weeks” as he recovers, per Rapoport. Morse, 25, has started 33 contests in two-plus years with Kansas City, but the club will now be forced to turn to other options. Zach Fulton took over at the pivot yesterday, while recent trade acquisition Cameron Erving could also be a candidate for snaps. The Chiefs face the Chargers, Redskins, Texans, and Steelers over the next month.
  • The Broncos are breathing a sigh of relief — after initially fearing rookie left tackle Garett Bolles broke his foot on Sunday, Denver learned that Bolles has only a bone bruise, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Bolles is now considered week-to-week, which almost assuredly means he’ll be sidelined for the Broncos’ Week 3 contest against the Bills. Both Donald Stephenson and Allen Barbre played left tackle in Bolles’ absence yesterday, and both will likely be options for Denver going forward.

Chiefs Sign Six Draft Picks

The Chiefs have signed six of their nine draft picks, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Center Mitch Morse (second round), inside linebacker Ramik Wilson (fourth round), inside linebacker D.J. Alexander (fifth round), and defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches (sixth round) have agreed to contracts, sources told Paylor. Also signing contracts were tight end James O’Shaughnessy (fifth round) and receiver Da’Ron Brown (seventh round), according to the NFL’s transaction report.

Noticeably absent from the list is first round cornerback Marcus Peters. Kansas City also needs to sign its third round picks, wide receiver Chris Conley and cornerback Steven Nelson.