John Tait participated in his first practice of the week and is now expected to line up as the starting right tackle on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Tait and his line mates have played in 25 straight games and Tait does not want to be the person who breaks the streak.
Tait was injured last Sunday against the Browns and left Arrowhead on crutches but has made a remarkable recovery. He ran some in practice on Thursday and the Chiefs upgraded him to questionable from doubtful.
Head Coach Dick Vermeil said after practice today that he expects Tait to play but so will back-up right tackle Marcus Spears. The ten year veteran Spears has worked all week as if he was going to start in place of the injured Tait. It appears now that Tait will start but Spears will see plenty of action to spell him in several series.
Tony Gonzalez was held out of practice today because of a sore knee. It's not considered serious and Gonzalez will be ready to line up against the Bengals on Sunday. With a very weak Bengals secondary, Gonzalez could have a huge game.
Tony Richardson is also expected to play despite the two broken bones in his hand. Richardson was fitted with a playing cast and was able to do most of his drills on offense. He can still block but catching the ball won't be as easy. Still Richardson is a gamer and he knows his value on offense.
However, the Chiefs will likely have to activate back-up fullback Omar Easy. If that occurs then either third string tight end Billy Baber or rookie running back Larry Johnson will have to sit out the Bengals game.
Baber seems to be the odd man out. If an injury happens to Priest Holmes and Richardson is running with a cast, Johnson provides the best option at running back in the event that Holmes goes down or needs a breather. Derrick Blaylock is also an option but he's been getting less and less reps in practice and Johnson is much more polished as a runner. It was not window dressing by Dick Vermeil to get Johnson more involved in the offense. Johnson is a skilled back and needs some work. Had the Bengals not been playing better this season, Johnson might have played more in this game. But he'll get his chances next week as the limping Oakland Raiders come into Arrowhead in what should be an easy Chiefs victory.
Dante Hall seems to be ready to go and is looking forward to showcasing his talents on offense. He does not appear to have any ill effects from his bruised clavicle. Hall narrowly missed his 5th touchdown return of the season last week and he'd like to get that monkey off his back this week. The next touchdown return by Hall will set a new NFL record.
For those looking for the Sports Illustrated Magazine featuring the Kansas City Chiefs will have to wait until late in the weekend or possibly Monday in some areas. The magazine has been mailed to subscribers but is not available in retail outlets until all mailings have gone out nationally.