The Chiefs will be without ILB Nico Johnson for the season opener. Johnson didn’t participate in practice all week with an ankle injury. That cripples depth at the inside linebacker position on a 3-4 defense. Derrick Johnson and Akeem Jordan will start and focus on slowing down Maurice Jones-Drew.
The following Chiefs are listed as Questionable: backup FS Husain Abdullah (foot), starting RG Jon Asamoah (calf), backup DE Allen Bailey (not injury related), second TE Travis Kelce (knee). Asamoah and Bailey did not practice this week, while Kelce was limited on Friday. Abdullah did not practice on Thursday, but was participated on a limited basis on Friday.
The following Chiefs are listed as Probable: backup SS Quintin Demps (hamstring), starting RT Eric Fisher (shoulder), backup ILB James-Michael Johnson (groin), backup ROLB Dezman Moses (toe), starting CB Sean Smith (neck), and backup T Donald Stephenson (shoulder).
Impact: Nico Johnson is a great backup at the inside linebacker position, but as long as the starters remain healthy, James-Michael Johnson should be able to spell the starters for a few plays. Slightly more concerning would be if Asamoah and Kelce are not cleared to play. If Asamoah can’t play, second year G Rokevious Watkins will likely fill in. The two-TE threat adds depth to the new Chiefs offense.
Tight End Mercedes Lewis is listed as Out for week 1 against the Chiefs. Lewis was limited in practice on Wednesday, but did not practice on Thursday or Friday due to a calf injury.
The following players were listed as Qustionable: second RB Justin Forsett (toe), starting QB Blaine Gabbert (right thumb), starting LG Will Rackley (ankle). All three players were limited in practice this week, but Forsett participated fully on Friday.
The following players were listed as Probable: backup WR Stephen Burton (illness), starting SS Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring), starting DT Roy Miller (knee), and backup DE Jeremy Mincey (illness). Burton was limited in practice on Wednesday, but participated fully on Thursday and Friday. Cyprien was only limited on Friday. Miller, and Mincey were limited all week.
Impact: Losing Mercedes Lewis is crucial for the Jaguars offense. TE Allen Reisner is listed as the next in line to replace Lewis. Expect Reisner to have minimal contributions in the receiving game, but will serve as an added blocker for Jones-Drew and Forsett. Gabbert will likely play, but could be limited by his injured thumb. These injuries can get worse as the game wears on, but it depends on the severity. If starting LG Will Rackley doesn’t play, Austin Pasztor or Jacques McClendon would likely take his place. This could have a big impact on their ability to block Chiefs NT Dontari Poe.